Aia I Honolulu (There at Honolulu) - Chant for Princess Ruth Keʻelikolani

Aia i Honolulu kuu pohaku
O Keahohilani kuʻu haku ia
Ua puni hei au leo o ka manu
Oa u lehua i Mokaulele

A Halaulani au wehe ka makani
Hoi aʻe ka pono ia Onuila
Hoʻoneʻeneʻe mai o Kailiahi
Ho`ʻhonua mai ka ua i uka

Ua malu ko aupuni e ka lani
ʻAʻohe kupueu nana e aʻe
Haʻina ka puana ai lohe ia
No Keʻelikolani no he inoa

Kahea: He Inoa No Keʻelikolani

My stone is there at Honolulu
Kealohilani is my lord
I was fooled by the voices of the birds
That sip the lehua of Mokaulele

At Haulani the breezes blow forth
And all the good has gone back to Onuila




In honor of Princess Ruth Keʻelikolani

Princess Ruth Keʻelikolani

William Pitt Kinau

Source: Princess Ruth Ke`elikolani Kauanahoahoa (1826-1883) born at Pohukaina on Oahu, was the half-sister of Kamehameha IV, Kamehameha V and Princess Victoria Kamamalu. Described as the largest and richest woman of her time, her sad life was marked by the death of all her loved ones. Her natural mother Kalani Pauahi died giving birth to Ruth, and her guardian, Queen Kaahumanu, died when she was 6 years old. Her step-mother, Chiefess Elisabeta Kinau, died when she was 13 and her beloved first husband, Leleiohoku, died of measles in 1848, at age 22. She had 2 children from this marriage, one dying in infancy and the other, William Pitt Kinau dying in 1859, at age 17. Her hanai son, Prince William Pitt Kalahoolewa Leleiohoku, the younger brother of King Kalakaua and Queen Lili`uokalani, died April 10, 1877, at age 23. Her 2nd marriage to Isaac Davis, in 1856, was not particularly happy, but it did produce a child who also died in infancy. She loved children dearly, but many were frightened by her size. Six feet tall and over 400 pounds, she was not attractive, her nose being disfigured in an operation to correct a nasal disease. She resisted Christianity, refused to speak English, a language she knew and understood very well, and clung to Hawaiian culture. Hula dancers and chanters were a part of her life and greatly influenced her hanai son, Leleiohoku, a gifted composer with exceptional musical ability. In later years, bitter over her losses, she was controversial, greatly loved or greatly feared. November 5, 1880, the flank of Mauna Loa erupted and continued to flow 60 miles to the edge of Hilo. By August, 1881, the menacing lava threatened the town where fervent prayer meetings were being held. Finally, the desperate Hawaiians went to Princess Ruth and begged for her help. She listened to their pleas travelled to the island of Hawaii, in spite of her poor health, and on the night of August 9, went to intercede with Pele. Ordering her followers to keep their distance, she approached the edge of the volcano in the area known as Puuhalai, with about 30 red silk handkerchiefs, brandy, and a lock of her hair; gifts for the fire goddess. Many spectators say the Princess actually walked on the hot molten lava as she chanted her prayers. That night she slept at the edge of the lava flow and by dawn the molten lava stopped within a yard of Ruth's sleeping body. The Princess had performed a miracle. Kaakopua, on Queen Emma street, the home of Ruth and her hanai son, Leleiohoku, burned down October, 1873. Here is where the Princess built her Victorian mansion, Keoua Hale, the present site of Central Intermediate School. The most expensive residence at that time, took 2 years to construct, and was completed February, 1883. A grand luau with over 1000 guests was held to celebrate Ruth's birthday and house warming. Ruth never lived in her new mansion. She became ill the day after the celebrations and under doctor's orders, went to Kailua-Kona to improve her health. She retired to a grass hut on the grounds of Hulihee Palace, where she died May 24, 1883, close to the spot where her great grandfather, Kamehameha I, died in 1819. Her vast fortune was left to Bernice Pauahi Bishop, her nearest living relative.