The composer:News Hawk wrote:The barefoot children's chant that begins this performance is a normally-chanted verbal "introduction". Like most children of Oceania—the South Pacific—we seldom wore shoes.
The percussion instrument seen with the three girls—the large tan gourd—was one of many I learned to play. (The ipu heke—eepoo-hek-keh).
Higher "notes" are by slapping the upper and lower swellings—the bass is sounded by tapping the ipu heke on its base. Here, the ipu heke is tapped on a carpet to reduce its sometimes overpowering bass effect. The bass is more the male Hawaiian's part, and is used in war chants and celebrations of ancient wartime victories. It is played by the chanter (only) in male-only presentations. The ipu heke is not merely slapped, but is raked by knuckles and fingernails to get the desired sounds.
My favorite singer (talented songwriter, historian, dancer) is Keai'i Reichel, but he has a tiny part here, which doesn't do justice to his great talent.
This melody is of heartfelt suffering of lost sovereignty of the Hawaiian Islands (to the US) and loss forever of their beloved and enlightened monarchy. It's a sad and well-known melody to native Hawaiians—and it is not by accident that the various backgrounds include English-language signs of "Keep Out", "Danger", and ends, finally, with barbed wire.
'Just wanted to share ten minutes of my early years.
(To go to the enlarged high-definition version, click on the small name kaulana na pua in the upper left corner. You can then also "open in a new tab" to continue surfing the Web while listening).
After Oceania, my next 'ohana? Wolfeboro!
Notice how often a phrase ends in "ka `âina "
The lyrics, written many years ago, in protest of US' annexation:
"Famous are the children of Hawai`i"
Ever loyal to the land
When the evil-hearted messenger comes
With his greedy document of extortion
Hawai`i, land of Keawe answers
Pi`ilani's bays help
Mano's Kaua`i lends support
And so do the sands of Kakuhihewa
No one will fix a signature
To the paper of the enemy
With its sin of annexation
And sale of native civil rights
We do not value
The government's sums of money
We are satisfied with the stones
Astonishing food of the land"
Still, they vote overwhelmingly Democrat!
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