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Echo of Our Song ePub

This familiar refrain, sometimes translated "Let the echo of our song be head," appears among the closing lines in many nineteenth-century chants and poems. From earliest time, the chanting of poetry served the Hawaiians as a form of ritual celebration of the things the charished-the beauty of their islands, the abundance of wild creatures that inhabited their sea and air, the majesty of their rulers, and the prowess of their gods. Commoners as well as highborn chiefs and poet-priests shared in the creation of the chants. These haku mele, or "composers," the commoners especially, wove living threads from their own historic circumstances and everyday experiences into the ongoing oral tradition, as handed down from expert to pupil, or from elder to descendant, generation after generation.
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