1. O ke au i kahuli wela ka honua
2. O ke au i kahuli lole ka lani
3. O ke au i kuka'iaka ka la.
4. E ho'omalamalama i ka malama
5. O ke au o Makali'i ka po
6. O ka walewale ho'okumu honua ia
7. O ke kumu o ka lipo, i lipo ai
8. O ke kumu o ka Po, i po ai
9. O ka lipolipo, o ka lipolipo
10. O ka lipo o ka la, o ka lipo o ka po
11. Po wale ho--'i
12. Hanau ka po
13. Hanau Kumulipo i ka po, he kane
14. Hanau Po'ele i ka po, he wahine
At the time that turned the heat of the earth, At the time when the heavens turned and changed, At the time when the light of the sun was subdued To cause light to break forth, At the time of the night of Makalii (winter) Then began the slime which established the earth, The source of deepest darkness. Of the depth of darkness, of the depth of darkness, Of the darkness of the sun, in the depth of night, It is night, So was night born
The most appropriate way to begin a discussion of Hawaiian perspectives is to begin with the creation chant, the Kumulipo. This chant describes not only our perspectives on the environment but our relationship to that environment. The Kumulipo illustrates the deep and enduring differences between western and traditional Hawaiian ways of relating to and respecting the environment.genealogical prayer chant linking the royal family to which it belonged not only to primary gods belonging to the whole people and worshiped in common with allied Polynesian groups, not only to deified chiefs born into the living world, the Ao, within the family line, but to the stars in the heavens and the plants and animals useful to life on earth, who must also be named within the chain of birth and their representatives in the spirit world thus be brought into the service of their children who live to carry on the line in the world of mankind.
In the prespective of Pukui along with many other Hawaiians she says,"The Kumulipo as we have it today is popularly known as the Hawaiian "Song of Creation," from its name Kumu(u)li-po, "Beginning-(in)-deep-darkness." It consists in sixteen Sections called wa, a word used for an interval in time or space. The first seven sections fall within a period called the Po, the next nine belong to the Ao, words generally explained as referring to the world of "Night" before the advent of "Day"; to "Darkness" before "Light"; or, as some say, to the "Spirit world" in contrast to the "World of living men," with whom the "World of reason" began. In the first division are "born" (hanau) or "come forth" (puka) species belonging to the plant and animal world, in the second appear gods and men. Of the over two thousand lines that make up the whole chant, more than a thousand are straight genealogies listing by pairs, male and female, the various branches (lala) making up the family lines of descent. Thus, although the whole is strung together within a unified framework, it may in fact consist of a collection of independent family genealogies pieced together with name songs and hymns memorializing the gods venerated by different branches of the ancestral stock.
During the period between the end of the Hawaiian monarchy and the annexation of Hawai`i by the United States Queen Liliu'okalani finished translating Kumulipo and it was that Lili'uokalani finished translating KUMULIPO from a Hawaiian text published by her brother King Kalakaua in 1889.This is what the Queen had said about the Kumulipo,"THERE are several reasons for the publication of this work, the translation of which pleasantly employed me while imprisoned by the present rulers of Hawaii. It will be to my friends a souvenir of that part of my own life, and possibly it may also be of value to genealogists and scientific men of a few societies to which a copy will be forwarded. The folk-lore or traditions of an aboriginal people have of late years been considered of inestimable value; language itself changes, and there are terms and allusions herein to the natural history of Hawaii, which might be forgotten in future years without some such history as this to preserve them to posterity. Further, it is the special property of the latest ruling family of the Hawaiian Islands, being nothing less than the genealogy in remote times of the late King Kalakaua,--who had it printed in the original Hawaiian language,--and myself. I have endeavored to give the definition of each name as far as it came within my knowledge of words, but in some cases this could not be done because the true signification has been lost. The ancient Hawaiians were astronomers, and the terms used appertained to the heavens, the stars, terrestrial science, and the gods. Curious students will notice in this chant analogies between its accounts of the creation and that given by modern science or Sacred Scripture. As with other religions, our ancient people recognized an all-powerful evil spirit: Mea was the King of Milu as Satan is of the infernal regions, or hell. I hope that to some interested in all that pertains to Hawaii, this may give one-half the pleasure which it gave to me in the translation and preparation of the manuscript.
Words from Kawena Jonhson
Video clip of Kumulipo by Makaha Sons
Chants:Mele of Antiquity