At the peak of Hawaiian language newspapers in Hawai'i, it was common to see printings of kanikau or laments for those who lost loved ones or great leaders who have passed. It is in this tradition that I submit my kanikau for a woman who committed her life to teach others one aspect of such a beautiful culture, and a woman who was the glue that held our family together, my tutu, Nina Boyd Maxwell.
'Auhea ka pilali o ke kumu kukui?
'Auhea 'oe e ku'u hulu ali'i?
'O Nina Boyd Maxwell kou inoa hanohano.
Aue no ka'u kumakena e!
Ua hala akula, ua hala 'oia.
He kanikau aloha ia 'oe e ku'u Tutu!
He hiwa lani a Kalanikini.
Aue, Aue, Aue no!
He kama hanai o ka 'aina o na wai 'eha.
Ho'olokuloku ka ua, ka waimaka.
Lu'u ka ua koko i kou 'aina hanau!
'Aue e ku'u wahi ho'omalu, ku'u malu halau loa!
'O 'oe ka mea ho'okahua,
A ua lilo 'oe i ke kahua o makou.
'Aue e ku'u Tutu aloha, 'aue!
Ua lawe ku'u Tutu ia Niolopua.
'O Punalani e liuliu ka moena
I ka moe loa i ka puaaneane.
E moe, e moe, e moe e!
Kaumaha loa i ku'u pu'uwai.
E ha'o nui ana au ia 'oe e Tutu.
E hele 'oe i ke ala ho'i 'ole mai!
E hui pu 'oe me kou mau hulu ali'i i ke kau ana o ka La!
Nau kama lani, ka mo'opuna mua.
Where is the pilali of the kukui tree?
Where are you my royal feathers?
Nina Boyd Maxwell is your stately name.
There is grief for my lament!
Gone, she is gone.
This is my lament for you, my Tutu!
Favored child of Kalanikini.
Oh the grief, sadness, absolute grief!
A child reared in the lands of the four waters.
The rains pour.
The heavy rains drench the land of your birth.
Oh no, my place of shelter, my branches for shade!
You have built our foundation,
And now you have become the shoulders on which we stand.
Oh no, my beloved Tutu, woe betides us!
Niolopua has taken my Tutu.
Punalani is there to prepare a place for you
To rest 'til time shall no more.
Lie down, sleep, and indeed rest!
My heart is heavy.
I will miss you, Tutu.
You must go now on the path of no return!
Join your ancestors in the setting of the sun!
Your kama lani, the mo'opuna mua.
Adrian K. Kamali'i
Original article URL: http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2006/Jun/21/op/FP606210321.html/?print=on