Mālia Ko’iulaokawaolehua Helelā is a kumu hula, Hawaiian language scholar, and talented composer of Hawaiian mele, including He Mele Nēnē and Ka Awa No Waiʻawa. As a composer, she says she thinks a lot about storytelling, especially stories related to history, and how history gives us clues of how to act. Mālia believes core values of respect, gratitude, and taking care of the land are deeply ingrained in Hawaiian poetry. “Weʻre lucky to have inspiration all around us,” she says. In this delightful video, Mālia explains the Hawaiian thought processes that go into writing a mele. In this video Mālia describes her mele, Manu O Ka Pali Kahakō.
Credits: performance video by Educational Media Center – Leeward Community College, bio video by Robert Delim and Kat Camit, post feature photo by Pacific Island Parks