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Hawaiʻi - EA Hawaiian Activism Movements 1960-2010: Mele Kūʻē


“Hawaiian views on nature are the subject of many songs and contain a true respect for nature. Many of the songs now openly express, if one understands the words, the language- Pain, revolution; itʻs expressing the emotional reaction the Hawaiians are feeling to the subversion of their lifestyle” - George Helm

Songs of Sovereignty


Throughout these radical movements and the Hawaiian Renaissance, the themes of what was Hawaiian music began to change. Born were these mele kūʻē, or resistance songs rallied for our ancestral homelands and for the autonomy of our existence. These songs helped to shape the narrative of how Hawaiians protest and often were used not just for one movement but many and are still commonly a part of current struggles. This is not a comprehensive list, many of these artists composed many songs, whole albums even, that allied with their lāhui fighting in the battle for ea.


Quote Citation

Lewis, George H. "Style in Revolt Music, Social Protest, and the Hawaiian Cultural Renaissance." International Social Science Review 62, no. 4 (1987): 172.