A mo‘olelo is a story, a legend, an article, and a piece of literature. More than that, mo‘olelo is our history as Hawaiian people. Within each mo‘olelo, stories of how our ancestors lived, how they worked, how they leisured, how they fought, and how they loved are told. It provides those of us living today with some insight as to how our ancestors lived. Mo‘olelo provides the link between those of us living today to our ancestors who have come before us and because of all of this; a mo‘olelo is much more than just a story or a legend. Like many Hawaiian terms, mo‘olelo carries meanings that are sometimes unexplainable.
Below, you will find two mo‘olelo, among others, that are taken from the Hawaiian Ethnological Notes (HEN) collection. These archives consist of materials that Mary Kawena Pūku‘i collected while she was an employee at the Bishop Museum. The materials were mainly gathered from Hawaiian language newspapers, journals, and also personal accounts. Each of the mo‘olelo will contain a Hawaiian language version as well as a translated version. The mo‘olelo from the HEN collection have been published in book entitled Ka Ho‘oilina: Puke Pai ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i, which is a journal of Hawaiian Language Resources. The Journal's 3 volumes can be found at http://www.ulukau.org.