Classes by a Native Hawaiian about Hawai’i
Mele Fong offers a Hawaiian History & Song Series for all students curious about Hawai’i’s cultural history. Students learn about Hawai’i’s people, places, and events from a former historian for the Ahahui Ka’ahumanu, a royal benevolent society of Native Hawaiian women who honor Queen Ka’ahumanu and her legacy. Topics vary and include relevant songs and the stories behind them in keeping with Hawaiian oral history traditions. The PowerPoint presentation is full of images and is similar to the Sing-Along with Mele Fong Series.
A total of 28 Hawaiian history classes (24 at Kaunoa Senior Center and 4 at Hale Ho’ike’ike at the Bailey House) from 2009-2019 were taught to over 398 people who signed up (records were not kept for the years of 2009-2012). The largest of students to sign up for one class was 60 for “Hawai’i’s First King” in 2015. The format has evolved over the years from straight lecture to lecture and song. Keep Hawaiian history alive!
“To Mele, Best wishes for success with your research. With aloha, John Berger.” (Author of Hawaiian Music & Musicians, Mutual Publishing, LLC, 2012) – 25 November 2012
“I’m so glad I came to your program – your presentation was really good,” commented Helene, a retired school teacher. “When are you going to be at Ukulele Mixed Plate?” asked another lady who had enjoyed our free entertainment/group ukulele lessons at The Shops at Wailea. “We took our friends and you weren’t there.” –1 May 2015
One lady commented how much she enjoyed the singing part of the program because it “made the subject come alive”.—31 Jan 2018
“My friend really wanted to come to your program, but couldn’t get in,” commented one student. “I was on the waiting list and lucky to get in,” said another student. – 29 Aug 2018
“You put a lot of work into the program. The pictures were great.” – 29 May 2019
MEMORABLE MOMENTS – CLICK ON PHOTO for the story behind it
- 2006 – First 5-minute oral history talks given at monthly membership meetings of the Ahahui Ka’ahumanu, a royal society of Native Hawaiian women who honor Queen Ka’ahumanu and her legacy that lives on today. (Mele was initiated into Chapter IV Wailuku Maui in September 2004).
- October 2009 – First 1-hour long Lunch & Learn class at Kaunoa Senior Center titled “Historical Highlights of Hawai’i and Maui” to celebrate the 50th anniversary of statehood. The same program was given in December 2009 at West Maui Senior Center.
- 2014 – First Oral History & Song Series at Hale Ho’ike’ike at the Bailey House with a program titled “Hawai’i’s Last Queen.” The series ended in 2015 after a total of 4 programs at the Bailey House.
- 2015 – First program renamed under the Oral History & Song Series at Kaunoa was titled “Prince Kuhio” to celebrate the Kuhio Day state holiday in March.
- 2016 – First program renamed under the Hawaiian History & Song Series was titled “Hawai’i’s First King” to start the year learning about King Kamehameha.
- 2019 – Two new programs under the Island Stories & Songs Series on Oahu and the Big Island emphasizing cultural places of interest to visit. The last new program under the Hawaiian History & Song Series was titled “Walk With Royalty” about heritage sites on Oahu including Washington Place, Iolani Palace, and King Kamehameha Statue.
ARCHIVES – CLICK ON CLASS TITLE for reviews
Sing-Along Series – Na Lani Eha (The Four Royals)
9 Other programs at Kaunoa:
2012 – Maui’s Historical Places, History of the Ahahui Kaahumanu.
2010 – Hawaii’s Royal Legacy, Maui’s Historical Places, Queen Kaahumanu, King Kalakaua and Prince Kuhio, King Kamehameha and Father Damien.
2009 – Historical Highlights of Hawaii and Maui in October (Kaunoa) and December (West Maui).
1997 – Led Kamehameha Schools Alumni Chorale at Kamehameha Day Program at the King Kamehameha statue in Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol, Washington D.C. (program co-hosted by Hawai’i State Society of which we were also members)
Mele Fong arranged the traditional Hawaiian song Ka’ahumanu Ali’i and performed it along with Ahahui sisters who sang and and played ukulele and danced hula for the 185th anniversary celebration of Ka’ahumanu Church on Sunday, August 27, 2017 in Wailuku, Maui.
CLASSES >> Mele’s classes for adults 55 and better at Kaunoa Senior Center