A Moʻolelo for ʻUmi: A Famous Aliʻi of These Hawaiian Islands.
Then ʻUmi said to them, “Here are your ʻāina: two for Nunu, and one for Kamai. It will now be up to you to determine the affairs of your ʻāina. With regards to who will have control over these ʻāina, it will be yours to ʻai (control, consume). It will be up to you both to act as you see fit. Do not think of me. If you so choose to pass these ʻāina on to your descendants, that decision is yours to make, and it will be pono." Illustration by Haley Kailiehu, 2015.
About the story...
"He Moolelo no Umi" is one of the earliest known published versions of the story of ʻUmi-a-Liloa, the great chief of Hāmākua, Hawaiʻi. The version of this story that is republished and translated here was first published by Simeon Keliikaapuni and J. H. Z. Kalunaaina in 1862, in the Hawaiian language newspaper called Ka Nupepa Kuokoa. After Keliikaapuni & Kalunaaina published "He Moolelo no Umi," similar versions of this important moʻolelo were published and republished in newspapers by a number of others throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Our kūpuna clearly valued this moʻolelo and the lessons it imbued upon each generation who learned it. We, in the same spirit that inspired our kūpuna to retell this moʻolelo, represent it here, in both its original language and in english, so that our generation and the many generations to come may derive knowledge from the important lessons held within this moʻolelo. And so that we, kamaʻāina of Hāmākua, may find pride in the deep cultural heritage and history of our beloved homelands, the birthplace of this great chief, ʻUmi-a-Līloa.
Start the moʻolelo
Kealaulili, Mea Kākau
This moʻolelo has been compiled and translated by Kealaulili, based on "He Moolelo no Umi," originally published by Simeon Keliikaapuni & J. H. Z. Kalunaaina in Ka Nupepa Kuokoa in 1862.
Haley Kailiehu, Artist
All illustrations have been created by ʻŌiwi artist, Haley Kailiehu.