Jon Osorioʻs powerful 2010 commentary in Honolulu Civil Beat is making the rounds on social media once again. Speaking of Hawaiian conceptions of independence, Jon offers a powerful statement on ea:
Independence — ea — for us was a basic right that was enshrined by law. We may either give in to the cynicism of the age and in the face of such enormous power wielded by the United States, conclude that self-determination is a foolish delusion, or we can press Americans to live up to a better standard of behavior and perhaps, a better version of themselves. But in the end, it is more important that we Hawaiians refuse to surrender our own faith in ea.
I returned to a memorable recording to revisit one of the Kingdom of Hawaiiʻs national anthems, “He Mele Lahui Hawaii” by (then-) Princess Liliʻuokalani. Here it is again, with all three verses. The track is performed by the Rose Ensemble of St. Paul, Minnesota. Their hard work on the ʻōlelo paid off handsomely.
Click here to go to the Wikipedia page with all lyrics, translation, and a beautiful color photograph of the sheet music published in 1867.