Hōlei, Kalapana, East Hawai’i Island

Hōlei is an area near Kalapana in the Puna District on the Big Island of Hawai’i. Hōlei is known for it’s volcanic sea cliffs and crashing waves.

Hōlei Sea Arch is a windswept, 90-foot arched lava rock formation along the Chain of Craters Road and actually located in the Ka’ū District. The arch takes its name from the Hōlei Pali, located up on the slopes of Kīlauea.

Hōlei – The Song
There is a song called Hōlei (sometimes renamed Kalapana, O Kalapana) which speaks of the loud ocean waves crashing onto the sea cliffs, listen to the voice of the sea.

A much-loved falsetto version of the mele was recorded by Dennis Pavao in 1994. Cody Pueo Pata also released a well known version of Hōlei in 2001. Many versions of the Hawaiian song have been recorded.

Huapala Hawaiian Music Archives credits Hui Ohana as having the originally recorded version. Although, their is no such rendition existing. Uncle Led Kaapana liked a poem that accompanied a painting of Kalapana so he composed a melody for it and added some text. He presented it to members of Hui Ohana, but they rejected it.

ʻO Kalapana, kai leo nui,
Ua lono ka uka o Hōlei,
He uwā lā Kalapana, ē,
Kuli wale, kuli wale i ka leo,
He leo no ke kai, ē
It is Kalapana, the great-voiced sea,
The uplands of Hōlei listened,
Roaring is Kalapana,
Deafened, deafened indeed by the voice,
It is the voice of the sea

The whole “Holei” story… straight from Led…

Mama Tina had a painting of Kalapana in their house, and below it was a poem about Kalapana (written by someone with last name “Kay” — who received full credit for the lyrics).

Led liked the poem, composed a melody for it — and added some text. Took

it to Hui `Ohana for recording, but no one wanted it add it to the album at that time. Hui `Ohana never recorded the song.

So when Led joined with Alika Odom and Bernard Kalua as “Na Leo Kane O Punahele”, they were the first to record the song — and went on to be known as “Led Kaapana & I Kona” on their later albums.

Dennis Pavao recorded the song on his album, “All Hawai`i Stand Together”

~ Auntie Maria

Credit & Resource:
Aunty Maria, Taro Patch forum
Kaahele Hawaii Blog