The kumu of Punahou’s Kuaihelani Learning Center have teamed up to produce Mele Monday, a series of weekly videos centering on Hawaiian language and history as told through song.
Mele Monday aims to educate and inspire the Punahou community and promote ʻike Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian knowledge). “Thinking how we might put together a video that provided a dose of inspiration through Hawaiian music for our community was the birth of the Mele Monday idea,” said Ke’alohi Reppun ’99, director of Kuaihelani Learning Center.
In each video, Reppun shares a short lesson on history to give the background of the song, while Emma McGuire ’93 and Hawaiian language faculty provide a language lesson about the meaning of the song. Kimo Keaulana, ‘Ike Hawai‘i faculty and Kumu Hula, then performs the song.
“Kumu Kimo has spent his lifetime learning and teaching hula and has been lucky enough to amass a collection of mele that is impressive, to say the least,” Reppun said. “One of the goals of the Mele Monday project is to archive his many personal stories around mele.”
While Mele Monday was originally planned as professional development for faculty, the kumu quickly realized the value it can provide to learners of all ages, both within and outside the walls of the School.
“We hope that with each installation of Mele Monday, our viewers learn something new, become curious about something old, and are inspired to smile as they do the awesome work that each and every one of them does,” Reppun said.