When ʻāina experiences hulihia – from worldwide pandemics, to the imbalanced imposition of man on environment – kānaka are called to huliāmahi, to act in unanimity and in great numbers. As kānaka huliāmahi, they gather, they organize, and they cooperate toward a unified goal. This goal is aloha ʻāina. This goal strives to restore the balance that “ʻāina” describes: the balance between environment and kānaka. As an awareness for aloha ʻāina rose in the past few decades, community groups, families, and individuals came together – huliāmahi – to stand for rights of the ʻāina and the kānaka who continue to live by its values. These stories are captured and recalled at the tip of the tongue: through mele.
One role of the haku mele, the composer of words and intentions, is to document ʻāina – the experiences of places and people – and weave it into the collective understandings established through generations of mele. As we sing these mele, they become acts of aloha ʻāina, reminders of our role in ʻāina. These mele presented here serve to memorialize and strengthen the community commitment to aloha ʻāina, adding contemporary stories to an ever-growing lei of aloha ʻāina consciousness.