Kahuli Aku - Traditional

Kahuli aku
Kahuli mai
Kahuli lei ʻula
Lei akolea
Kolea, kolea
Kiʻi ka wai
Wai akolea
Wai akolea
Turn little shell
Turn this way little shell
The tree shell is a red ornament in
The lei of the akolea fern
Little bird, little bird
Go down to the stream
Sip the sweet nectar
From the akolea fern

Source: This old chant was set to music by Winona Beamer. The kahuli (tree snails) or pūpū kanioe (land shells) are the singing snails of legend. The shells chirp in the evening and ask the birds to bring them a drink of water. The kolea is the Pacific Golden Plover (pluvialis dominca) that migrates to Hawaii in late August, stays until April, then returns home to Alaska and Siberia. The endemic snails, once numbering 35-40 different species, with their colorful patterns & designs were once abundant on all islands, but are rapidly declining and are now found only in mountain forests. The ground dwelling snail (amastridae) number only about 12 species as compared to the 300 species, a century ago. The pūpūmoeone, found only on Niʻihau and Kauaʻi live underground in sand dunes far removed from the ocean.