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Ea Mai Hawaiinuiakea

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Ea Mai Hawaiinuiakea

This chant speaks of the genealogy of the Hawaiian Islands themselves and includes references to the divine origins of early chiefs and kings. Genealogy chants such as this one are revered in Hawaii as they affirm the connections between people and the land upon which they live. These connections help us better understand our privelege and kuleana (responsibility) to care for places and people.
Na Kahakuikamoana, Fornander Collection of Hawaiian Antiquities and Folk-lore, Vol. IV
Ea mai Hawaiinuiaakea
Ea mai loko, mai loko mai o ka po
Puka mai ka moku, ka aina
Ka lalani aina o Nuumea
Ka pae aina o i kukulu o Tahiti

Hanau o Maui he moku, he aina
Na kama o Kamalalawalu e noho

Na Kuluwaiea o Haumea he kane
Na Hinanuialana he wahine
Loaa Molokai, ke akua, he kahuna
He pualena no Nuumea
Ku mai ke alii ka lani
Ka haluku wai ea o Tahiti

Loaa Lanai he keiki hookama
Na Keaukanai i moe aku
Moe ia Walinuu o Holani
He kekea kapu no Uluhina

Hanau Kahoolawe, he lopa
Kiina aku Uluhina
Moku ka piko o ke kamaiki
Ka iewe o ke keiki i lele
I komo i loko o ka ape nalu
Ka apeape kai aleale
Loaa ka malo o ke kama

O Molokini ka moku
He iewe ia, he iewe ka moku

Ku mai Ahukinialaa
He alii mai ka nanamu
Mai ka api o ka ia
Mai ka ale poipu o Halehalekalani

Loaa Oahu, he wohi
He wohi na Ahukinialaa
Na Laakapu he kane ia
Na Laamealaakona he wahine
Hookauhua, hoiloli i ka Nuupoki alii
Ka heiau kapu a Nonea
I kauila i ka po kapu o Makalii


Hanau Kauai he alii, he kama, he pua alii
He huhui alii, a Hawaii
Na ke poo kelakela o na moku
I pahola ia e Kalani
Holo wale na moku i Holani
I ka wewehi kapu a ka lanakila
Kulia i ka moku a Kanekanaloa
Ka ihe laumaki i Polapola
Nana i mahiki Wanalia


O Wanalia ke kane
O Hanalaa ka wahine
Hanau Niihau he aina, he moku
He aina i ke aa i ka mole o ka aina
Ekolu lakou keiki
I hanau i ka la kahi
O Niihau, o Kaula, Nihoa pau mai

Pa ka makuahine
Oili moku ole mai ma hope

Then arose Hawaiinuiakea
Arose from inside, from the inner darkness
Then appeared the island, the land
The row of islands of Nuumea
The group of islands on the borders of Tahiti

Maui was born an island, a land
A home for the children of Kamalalawalu

Kuluwaiea of Haumea as the husband
Of Hinanuiakalana as the wife
Was born Molokai, a god, a priest
The first morning light from Nuumea
Here stands the king, the heavenly one
The life-giving water-drops from Tahiti

Lanai was found, an adopted child.
It was Keaukanai who had married
Had married with Walinuu from Holani
The sacred albino1 of Uluhina

Kahoolawe was born, an orphan
Uluhina then was called upon
The navel of the little one was cut
The afterbirth of the child that was thrown 
Into the folds of the rolling surf
The froth of the heaving sea
Then was found the loin cloth for the child

Molokini the island
Is a navel string, the island is a navel string

Now stands forth Ahukinialaa
A chief from the foreign land
From the gills of the fish
From the billows of Halehalekalani

Then was born Oahu, a high-ranking chief
A chief through Ahukinialaa
From Laakapu, who was the man
From Laamealaakona a woman
Who sickened of the child conception, who sickened carrying the chief Nuupoki,
At the sacred temple of Nonea
During the lightning in the sacred night of Makalii2

The was born Kauai, a chief, a prince, a
kingly scion
Of the chiefly cluster belonging to Hawaii,
Hawaii the foremost head of the islands
That was spread out by Kalani2
The ships sailed freely to Holani
To the sacred precincts of freedom
Stand firm for the land of Kane Kanaloa
The barbed spear from Polapola
That pricked and uplifted Wanalia

Wanalia was the man
And Hanalaa was the woman
Of them was born Niihau, a land, an island,
A land at the roots, the stem of the land
There were three children among them
Born in the same day
Niihau, Kaula, ending with Nihoa

The mother then conceived no more
No island appeared afterwards
1 Sacred Albino, kekea kapu of the original, if not an error, would refer to the traditional arrival of the “poe ohana kekea,” which dates back to the 13th century; castaways on Maui, from a vessel called Mamala. Besides the captain were five others, both men and women. Of this party Neleike it is said became the wife of Wakalana, a ruling chief of Maui, and the mother of his son Alo-o-ia, and that they became the ancestors of the “poe ohana kekea,” white people with bright eyes; the sacred Albino of ancient time.

2  This doubtless refers to the month Makalii, rather than to the Pleiades, of same name.

3 Kalani, lit. the heaven, or heavenly one, freely used from this point impressed the translator with the idea that the whole song was evidently composed as an inoa, or name song for Kamehameha the Great, and, following custom, his own feats are lauded in figurative language and woven in with common traditional lore.

Credited to Kahakuikamoana, retrieved from Fornander Collection of Hawaiian Antiquities and Folk-lore, Vol. IV