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Folk Dance Federation of California, South, Inc.

Hawaiian Song Words
Compiled by Dick Oakes

Laupahoehoe Hula

Laupahoehoe is a village nestled amid the towering cliffs of the Hamakua Coast on the Big Island of Hawai'i. It lies on a lau (leaf) of smooth pahoehoe (lava) that juts into the sea at the mouth of a valley. Legend says that once Poliahu, the snow goddess of Mauna Kea (the higher of the two major peaks), defeated Pele (the fire goddess of Kilauea crater) by freezing the lava. One result was this picturesque little peninsula with its large palm grove and small town.

This boastful song of a boy from Laupahoehoe was written by Ermgard Farden Aluli. The youth sings with pride of his strong, supple body and how it performs for him. After climbing tall cliffs, fishing in the river, and braving the sea in a canoe, he then goes home to eat lots of poi (a traditional staple food made from starchy vegetables, usually breadfruit, taro, or plantain).

Masculine exuberance is the keynote of this hula that utilizes both ancient and modern men's hula motifs.

/ Eia mai au o ka boe la
A'o Laupahoehoe la
Kihikihi na po'ohiwi la
Kūkonakona ke kino la /
Me a'ole kapi'i na pali la
Hā'iona me na alu la
Ike kahawai aku a'u la
Ika o'opu na wā'o la
Ahe hoe pa'a ia hana la
Ike kai hā nupanupa la
A'ole ka'u me hopo la
Ina ale o ke kai la
Ha'i mai au a ka hale la
Nūnui na miki a'i la
Ku'ono'ono o loko la
Kukonakona ke kino la
Hā'ina mai ka puana la
Eia mai au o ka boe la
/ A'o Laupahoehoe la
Kihikihi na po'ohiwi la /
  Here I am, the boy
From Laupahoehoe
With strong shoulders
And supple body.
I'm not afraid to climb high cliffs --
I'll make them into small hills.
Into the river I dive
And swim like the o'opu fish.
I paddle my boat
Through rough seas and
I'm not afraid
On the paths of the seas.
Come to my house
There's plenty of food.
It tastes so good and
Makes my body strong and supple.
Tell my story.
I'm the boy from
With strong shoulders.