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Recounting the genealogy of Princess Ruth Ke‘elikōlani, Ko Ke‘elokōlani Mo‘okū‘auhau will open this year's Hō‘ike, honoring this fierce and formiddable woman so significant to the mo‘okū‘auhau of Kamehameha Schools.

Hawaiian language projects posted to honor Princess Ruth on her lā hānau

Feb. 10, 2020

Contributed by Shaundor Chillingworth

On Sunday, we celebrated the lā hānau of Princess Ruth Keʻelikōlani. Throughout the weekend, we posted these three mele and oli across our campus communications channels which will be featured in Hōʻike, that honor Keʻelikōlani and the significant role she played in the moʻokūʻauhau of Kamehameha Schools. These pāhana ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian language projects) were put together by our high school haumāna and explain the manaʻo and preview the content of each selection. 

On February 9, 1826, Princess Ruth Keanolani Kanāhoahoa was born to her mother, chiefess Kalani Pauahi, the daughter of Pauli Kaʻōleiokū, the eldest biological son of Kamehameha the Great. Paternally, Keʻelikōlani was designated as being a “keiki poʻolua,” meaning she had two fathers and inherited the mana coming from both those familial lines. Kahalaiʻa, was Kalani Pauahi’s first husband and one of the fathers of Ruth. Kalani Pauahi’s second husband, whom she was married to at the time of Keʻelikōlani’s birth, was Mataio Kekūanāoʻa.

The three mele and oli were:

  • Ko Keʻelikōlani Moʻokūʻauhau - a recounting of Princess Ruth's geneaology which will open this year's Hōʻike.
  • Pā Kiʻi - a mele sung by our high school student body about Keʻelikōlani's meat platter
  • Kuʻu ʻAukuʻu - a mele that compares Keʻelikōlani to the ʻaukuʻu and the attributes it shows in defending its fishpond. 

This year's Hōʻike "Keʻelikōlani Moku Aʻe Ka Pawa" honors Princess Ruth Keʻelikōlani. The production will be the first hula drama produced by our high school, breaking new ground to honor a woman of great significance to the moʻokūʻauhau of Kamehameha Schools. Moku Aʻe Ka Pawa—the pre-dawn darkness is breaking—references the reawakening of Hawaiian consciousness, as we know Keʻelikōlani was never disconnected from her kānaka identity. Through hula, mele, art, and pāleoleo (rap), a vibrant moʻolelo will be shared celebrating the life, lessons, and connections of Keʻelikōlani.

Hōʻike 2020: Keʻelikōlani Moku Aʻe Ka Pawa takes place March 12 & 13 at 6pm in Koaiʻa Gymnasium. Follow @mokuaekapawa on Instagram ( for more ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi content and manaʻo about Hōʻike!

February also celebrates Mahina ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian language month), in which we have been showcasing these Hawaiian language student projects. Look out for more great content from our haumāna on our Instagram ( and Facebook page (

Pāhana ‘Ōlelo Hawai’i: Pā Ki’i

Written by Kumu Kalehua Simeona, P_ Kiāi includes the theme of this year's Hō‘ike "Moku A_e Ka Pawa". It is one of the mele being sung by our Haumāna this year in honor of Princess Ruth Ke‘elikōlani. Haumāna put together this project in __lelo Hawai‘i that describes the song and mana_o behind it.

Pāhana ‘Ōlelo Hawai’i: Ku’u ‘Auku’u

This pāhana ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i previews one of the mele featured in this year's Hō‘ike. In Ku‘u ‘Auku‘u, Ke‘elikōlani is compared to the ‘auku‘u in the way she leads and the example she sets in being a steadfast defender of Hawai‘i the same way the ‘auku‘u defends its fishpond. This student project shares the mana‘o behind the mele.

Hōʻike 2020 will honor Princess Ruth Keʻelikōlani with a vibrant production of hula, mele, art and pāleoleo.

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