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Nani Waipiʻo Kāhela I Ka Laʻi

Written by Sam Liʻa Kalāinaina with music arranged by Eddie Kamae, the song is a simple and elegant composition of Sam’s that carries the message that his spirit will always live on in the streams of Waipiʻo Valley. The story recalls how Mabel Thomas and Sam shared a special relationship of music, sharing on the day Sam asked her to strum along as he wrote the lyrics to “Nani Waipiʻo.”

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.

Mabel Thomas shares how her uncle Sam Liʻa Kalāinaina wrote the lyrics and music to the song “Nani Waipiʻo Kāhela I Ka Laʻi” in the documentary, Liʻa: The Legacy of a Hawaiian Man.

Eddie Kamae and The Sons of Hawaiʻi (Claybourne “Braddah Smitty” Smith, George Kuo, Joe Marshall, and Dennis Kamakahi) perform “Nani Waipiʻo Kāhela I Ka Laʻi” at Camp Olomana, Oʻahu in 1987.

Eddie Kamae discusses and sings “Nani Waipiʻo Kāhela I Ka Laʻi.”

B-roll footage of Hiʻilawe stream flowing in Waipiʻo Valley.

Eddie Kamae sings “Nani Waipiʻo Kāhela I Ka Laʻi” while reflecting on Waipiʻo Valley and what Sam Liʻa Kalāinaina shared about the song.

Short preview clip of Eddie Kamae singing “Nani Waipiʻo Kāhela I Ka Laʻi.”

B-roll footage of Luahinewai Falls cascading into the ocean and the rocky shore of Waipiʻo Beach at the foot of the valley.

B-roll footage of still color photos of Sam Liʻa in the 1970s courtesy of the Hawaiʻi Multi-Cultural Center and Larry L. Kimura.

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

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