Elementary School Principal's Blog

Kani no nā leo

Posted on September 6, 2022

by Dr. Edna Hussey on September 6, 2022

I have been anticipating the birth of a practice that I hope will become a tradition unique to Mid-Pacific. The oli--Welina Mānoa--will be chanted by all students and staff at the preschool and elementary beginning next Monday morning. In previous years, only the preschoolers chanted Welina Manoa, And then a couple of multiage first and second grade classrooms stepped out of their classrooms to chant the oli. Inspired by the example of our younger students, the oli will resonate from the elementary to the rest of the campus when we oli facing Mānoa Valley.

Welina Mānoa is spoken poetry of the natural beauty of the furthest point of the valley, Luahine, the Tuahine rains and Kahaukani winds of Mānoa that sweep down to the shores of Waikiki. Oli often conveyed the message about the sacred connection to land and the natural elements. In this beloved place of Mānoa we have been blessed to thrive as a school community for over a century, and we hope for centuries to come.

Welina Mānoa I ka lehu aloha

Aloha Ua Tuahine

Mai Luahine a i Wakīkī

Kiaʻi ke Kahaukani

Kani no nā leo

E ō kamaʻāina

ʻĀina aloha ē

Mānoa e

Kumu Lanakila Casupang brought his high school hula students to some of the oli practices to learn the oli with the children, and so it was memorable to see younger and older students learning together. Kumu explained that the oli was also a form of storytelling, an oral tradition of passing knowledge from generation to generation. When we hear an oli, the human voice is a powerful hoʻokupu--gift--of welcome, gratitude, acknowledgement. And so the ritual of chanting the oli as we will do every Monday morning, will be both story and gift of gratitude for this special place, beloved Mānoa.

I can hardly wait to hear the childrenʻs voices resonant, clear, and strong. Kani no nā leo. The voices sound.

I promise a photo in the next blog.

E Kūlia Kākou! Letʻs strive and aspire together.

For our children,

Edna L. Hussey, EdD