November 17, 2009 at 1:25 PM HST - Updated June 17 at 6:53 AM
HONOLULU (HAWAIINEWSNOW) - Ancient Hawaiian voyaging has never been as active as it is today, and much of the credit is due to Hawaiian literature and songs. These rich historical sources survived the years when Hawaiians did not practice voyaging.
"We are fortunate to have a large repository of Hawaiian literature. Seeking out the information reveals its value. What value does it have if it just sits there ?" said Hiapo Perreira Polopeka.
Sources of knowledge, written and oral, keep traditional customs alive, especially those not practiced for generations.
"When Hokole'a was to be blessed at Kualoa, Oahu, the few who had knowledge of this practice came together," said Kalena Silva Luna Ho'okele.
Because so much was forgotten, bits of knowledge were gathered from various sources and pieced together to create the program for the blessing. The critical thing is perpetuating and using the knowledge.
The traditional chants used today carry with them stories and knowledge. Mahalo to those who are perpetuating these traditional mele.
But it's not only songs of the past, but mele of composers from this generation, like Hokole'a crewmember Carlos Andrade. These mele document and perpetuate stories of places traveled and knowledge gained.
You have a song and people hear it and it hooks into them and they like it. And so the song has a life of its own. If it's a good song, people carry the song and give it life. 052847 And the longer the life of the song of course, the longer the story will be told.