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Hawaiʻi - Hawaiian Language Research: Moʻolelo

Introduction: Moʻolelo

This page on moʻolelo is supposed to demonstrate the great potential and wealth of information contained in what is considered moʻolelo.

According to the Pukui's Hawaiian-English dictionary the word moʻolelo may refer to:  Story, tale, myth, history, tradition, literature, legend, journal, log, yarn, fable, essay. 

Or, according to the Parker Hawiian-English dictionary it refers to:  A continuous or connected narrative; a history, a tradition.

In Hawaiian thought moʻolelo is a holistic expression of both artistic and intellectual articulations. Because of this moʻolelo may refer to any one of these meanings, or to a combination of all of them.

This is not to imply that moʻolelo is separate from other areas of study in Hawaiian language, or in Hawaiian Studies.  Rather, this should serve as a start point to begin an exploration into the many layers of moʻolelo.


 In addition to the texts mentioned on this page there are many digitized books in ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi available on-line from, Ulukau: The Hawaiian Electronic Library.

Mānaleo television show

Ka Leo radio program

Ka Leo Hawaiʻi, well known to Hawaiian language students and speakers, featured weekly interviews with native speakers, conducted entirely in Hawaiian. It was initially broadcast on KCCN-AM between 1972-1989, hosted by Kauanoe Lindsey Kimura and the Hui Aloha ‘Aina Tuahine. It was then revived by interviewers Puakea Nogelmeier, Tuti Kanahele, Lolena Nicholas and Hauʻoli Akaka, between 1991-2000.

Nā puke/Books

Dissertations and Theses about moʻolelo

This is a sample listing of dissertations and theses about moʻolelo in both ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi and in English.