'Ike Hawai'i

'Ike Hawai'i - Sense of Place, Sense of Identity

At WMS, May Day is one of our most cherished year-end culminating events to celebrate our sense of place, sense of identity and our exciting journey of learning.  We celebrated May Day - one of Waimea school's and town's oldest traditions - on May 13, 2022.  Due to COVID safety protocols, the presentation was in the Thelma Parker Memorial Gym (as always) but only  for students, teachers, staff and court families.  The presentation was recorded and can be viewed here:   https://youtu.be/EcJVXA3RAWY

Our 2022-2023 school year May Day will be Friday, May 19, 2023.  

May Day 2022

Each Grade Level shared an oli (chant) and mo'olelo (story) as depicted in our Pa'ahana Logo during the 2022 May Day.  

This treasure is a Pohaku Kapilimanu – “the stone that holds the bird.”  It was found here in Waimea and gifted to Kumu Ku’ulei Keakealani, and was shared with our WMS 6th Grade students when they learned a traditional oli (chant) and mo’olelo (story) about Waimea from Ku’ulei and Kumu Ana Bertelmann in preparation for their 6th Grade May Day 2022 performance. 

The story, chant and dance that 6th Graders learned is about how boys from Waimea would go “bird fishing” for Kolea (golden plover) atop Hoku’ula, using one of these stones with cordage wrapped tightly in the grove around it.  As the story goes, instead of catching kolea, the boys ended up in the grips of the mo’o wahine Mana’ua

Mana’ua is also the name of Waimea’s giant “rain rock” - pictured to the left - where mo’o wahine Mana’ua was known to sunbathe. 

Stories and cultural beliefs and practices related to Mana’ua, which to this day include leaving offerings – usually fresh lei and flowers - to welcome rain, are incorporated in one of the three blocks that make up Waimea Middle School’s Pa’ahana logo.  Designed about a dozen years ago by students using traditional ohe kapala (bamboo stamps), the images tell each of the three stories.  Of course, the Mana’ua design also includes mo’o images. 

Special thanks to kumu Ku’ulei, Ana and Cherise for helping students better understand the history and legacy of Waimea and then sharing it with others during our May Day 2022 performance. 

We also thank kumu hula Micah Kamohoali’i for helping with the school’s stunning Pa’ahana logo to better connect us to this special place.  We are proud to wear our Pa’ahana logo for many reasons!   

These are our primary WMS schoolwide chants for Piko and other protocol events:

Mālana Mai Kaʻū


Mālana mai Kaʻū, me Puna, me Hilo,

(Buoyant is Kaʻū, Puna and Hilo)

Hele mai Kona me Kohala me Hāmākua,

(Traveling from Kona, Kohala, and Hāmākua)

He kaʻele ʻO Waipiʻo, he pola ʻO Mahiki

(Waipiʻo is hollow like a hull, Mahiki, like a platform)

He uka ʻO Waimea, he awa Kawaihae

(Waimea is a highland, Kawaihae a harbor)

He kupe no ka waʻa O Poliʻahu

(An end place for the canoe is Poliʻahu)

He pala Mauna A Wākea i luna

(Mauna A Wakea there above is the sealant for the wood)

Paʻa kuahiwi i ke aliʻi i ka waʻa

(The forest is sacred by the chief who cuts down the canoe)

Ohohia i ka hana ʻana aku e

(Rejoicing at the activity)

E Hō Mai

By Edith Kanakaʻole


(E) hō mai

(Give this way)

Ka ʻike mai luna mai e

(the understanding this way from up above)

O nā mea huna

(The hidden secrets)

Noʻeau o nā mele e

(To be wise and artistic in the songs)

E hō mai

(Give this way)

E hō mai

(Give this way)

E hō mai e

(Give this way)

Oli Mahalo

By: Kēhau Camara

ʻUhola ʻia ka Makaloa lā

(The Makaloa mat has been unfurled)

Pū ʻai ke alola lā

(In love, food was shared)

Kū kaʻi ʻia ka hā loa lā,

(The great breath has been exchanged)

Pāwehi mai nā lehua

(The lehua honors and adorns)

Mai ka hoʻokuʻi a ka hālāwai lā

(From Zenith to horizon)

Mahalo e nā akua

(Gratitude and thanks to our beloved creator)

Mahalo e nā kūpuna lā  ʻeā

(Gratitude and thanks to our beloved ancestors)

Mahalo me ke aloha lā

(Gratitude, admiration, thanks and love to all who are present, both seen and unseen)

Mahalo me ke aloha lā

May Day 2022 - Theme:  Huliau - "Time of Change"  

 May Day 2019 - Theme:  “Waimea, Kau I Ka Hano - Waimea, Placed On High”        

May Day 2018 - Theme:  "Ku'u Kula Iwi" - My Homeland

Photo courtesy of Havaiki Etherton

Hundreds of 'ohana - from our students and families, teachers and staff to community friends and cultural practitioners help make our annual May Day Ho'ike PRICELESS!  We thank them all for helping to make this long standing Waimea tradition possible!

This is what a WMS 'Ike Hawai'i TRADITION looks like!  

For many years, our WMS 6th Grade teaching team have taken the class on a thoughtful 'Ike Hawai'i journey to learn more about this special place as well as the world they live in -- where we came from (ancient civilizations)...to thinking about how we Malama Honua (care for Mother Earth) and how we move forward.  Culminating this journey is an annual hike to the top of Hoku'ula, one of the magestic pu'u that stand guard over Waimea.  THIS is what good teaching and learning looks like...and what memories are made of!   

MAHALO to our teachers, staff and all who make this possible including Parker Ranch and our Waimea firefighters -- who stand by to be sure everyone is safe!  Mahalo, too, to our cultural practitioners -- Kumu Ku'ulei Keakealani and Kumu Ana Bertelmann for helping make the connections...and keeping the stories and place names alive and helping us understand and "live" our kuleana.  

May 2022 

May 2019

May 2018 atop Hoku'ula 

Photo Courtesy of Mrs. Tina Yohon

Fall 2021

WMS 8th Grade students enjoyed an amazing day of service learning on the slopes of Mauna Kea in preparation for their May Day presentation.