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Nānā Mai

Written by Eddie and Myrna Kamae. The story shares how they were inspired to write this song after Eddie met the Hawaiian Happy Face Spider for the first time. Eddie felt a kinship with this spider and wanted to get to know the fingertip-sized endemic creature better and share its story with others.

Pūʻolo contains

  • lyrics and translations
  • song story
  • educational questions
  • music sheets
  • bibliography
  • resources from Kamae archive

Listen with Lyrics

Press play in the video and open the lyrics
or music sheets to follow along.

Recording from the Hawaiian Legacy Foundation archive. Performed by Eddie Kamae. © ℗ Hawaiʻi Sons Publishing Co. The Hawaiian Legacy Foundation. All rights reserved.

Watch Video Clips on YouTube and ʻUluʻulu

YouTube videos are documentary clips and full song performances.
ʻUluʻulu videos link to short preview clips from raw footage.

About the Happy-face spiders and their remarkable physical characteristics that are unique to Hawaiʻi from the documentary, Listen to the Forest.

B-roll footage of a happy-face spider crawling on a leaf while Eddie Kamae and William “Bill” Mull talk in the background.

Short preview clip of Eddie Kamae and The Sons of Hawaiʻi (George Kuo, Joe Marshall and Claybourne “Braddah Smitty” Smith) performing “Nānā Mai” for the documentary, Listen to the Forest in 1991.

Short preview clip of Kumu hula Johnny Lum Ho’s Hālau O Ka Ua Kani Lehua dancing to “Nānā Mai.”

Bishop Musuem’s Department of Entomology naturalist William “Bill” Mull shares more characteristics of happy-face spiders.

William “Bill” Mull shows students how to find a happy-face spider.

To explore more of our digitized collections of raw footage with ʻUluʻulu, visit:
Hawaiian Legacy Foundation: Eddie & Myrna Kamae.

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