Skip to Main Content

Hawaiʻi - Hawaiian Language Research: Mele and Oli

Introduction: Mele and Oli

Mele and oli are essental aspects of Native Hawaiian culture. Indeed, many moʻolelo are interwoven with mele and oli. For the purposes of this guide, I have considered oli to be those compositions which are primarily chanted, and mele to be those compositions which may be sung, or chanted, for hula, with musical accompaniment, or any combination of the two.

I cannot stress enough how mele and oli are interwoven with moʻolelo, hula, place names, and indeed particular lands themselves. This page provides a way for researchers to begin their work and only scratches the surface of potential work within the broader context of Hawaiian music.

Online Video

These are some examples of mele and oli being perofrmed, either alone, or as part of hula. 

Nā puke

Song Books

Indexes and Bibliographies

Video (hard copy)