The Kūhaʻo Maunakea Album

Kūhaʻo Maunakea

Our Mauna kiaʻi have protected Mauna a Wākea for the past several months (and for some, since 2015) through rainstorms, sweltering heat, and the constant threat of physical violence from cops and other DLNR officers while remaining in strict kapu aloha. We have witnessed the most incredible gatherings of kānaka ʻōiwi on all islands standing together to conserve and defend every piece of ʻāina thanks to dedicated organizers and fiercely loyal kūpuna and to the wonder of the world. Some of those organizers and other prominent musicians recently released Kūhaʻo Maunakea— a gorgeous selection of songs written for our mana mauna. The album came just in time as I was running out of pieces to add to my Mauna Kea-inspired playlist that I began compiling in January. Kūhaʻo Maunakea consists of 18 original compositions that were written specifically for the movement in which we are currently fighting. Each song was composed by at least one distinguished musician in Hawaiʻi, with most created by those who are kanaka. Kūhaʻo Maunakea “opens with “No Kea Ke Kupuna O Luna Nei” a traditional ʻoli by Manaiakalani Kalua and closes with the piece that defines our aloha ʻāina movement: “Ku Haaheo E Kuu Hawaii” by Kumu Hinaleimoana Wong and sang with the majority of the musicians who wrote the album. My favorite song in the album (besides “Ku Haaheo E Kuu Hawaii” being the obvious pick) is “We Are a Voice” by Kalenakū Delima because I obviously love everything Kalena sings, but it also features keiki voices that elevate the mana throughout the piece. The heart of Kūhaʻo Maunakea is a celebration of our lāhui and our perseverance throughout everything that has been used to oppress us. Not only is the collection of songs beautiful, but it also benefits the kiaʻi on the mauna through 100% of the proceeds going toward the organizers and all of Puʻuhululu’s needs. I hope you’ll listen to these pieces and internalize their messages while we continue to fight for Hawaiʻi.

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