Facets Model of "The Huikilau Song"
Lavinia Richfield
November 11, 2002  

Who Created It?
Jack Owens, a simple man who loved music wrote this song and asked Don Ho to apply his musical singing talent to help make this song a hit, and it became a hit!

When and Where Was It Created?
The Hukilau Song was created in 1948 in Honolulu. Jack was inspired to write this song on a night when he was suffering from sunburn, and aches and pains.

Why and For Whom Was It Created?
In 1940, the Mormon chapel in Laie was destroyed by fire. Kehau Kawahigashi organized a hukilau to rebuild the church, with the congregation contributing food, talent, and time. A well-known expert fisherman, Hamana Kalili supplied the nets for fishing. A $5 fee was charged to enjoy the hukilau, food and hula show. Two hundred and fifty people arrived for the first fundraiser in 1947 and the church raised $1,250. Jack Owens attended the hukilau in 1948 and wrote the song for this event

What Is Its Subject?
The central theme of The Hukilau Song is to hang loose and have fun. It talks about going to a hukilau, or going fishing with a net. A tradition at a hukilau is to eat laulau; a Hawaiian dish that consists of salted pork, chicken or fish wrapped in ti or banana leaves and steamed or baked. Jack Owens describes the nets being thrown into the sea where all the amaama (or fish) come swimming to the fishermen. The fish is then brought to the luau and eaten for supper.

What is Being Expressed?
I had my nieces and nephews listen to this piece of music and asked them what they felt the music was expressing. Some of their comments were: "a party; family; get together; friends; dancing; having fun; fishing; swimming; fish; seaweed; hot sun; sand; beach; waves; palm trees swaying in a cool breeze; Hawaii; leis; children running and chasing each other; old grandma's laughing and telling stories."
I feel Jack Owens was caught up in the excitement of catching fish, eating, dancing, and having fun when he wrote this song. It is a fun song to sing and dance to. As you listen to the tone and melody of the music, you actually get a sense of wind blowing in your hair, your soul caught up in the excitement, the sun beating on your back as you exhaust your energy pulling nets of fish in.

What Techniques Did Its Creator Use To Help Us Understand What Is Being Expressed?
The voice and the background music generate from an electric synthesizer.The lyrics and tempo are made to sound like the steps and movements of the hula dance. Don Ho's voice paints the picture that he is doing a form of hula as he sings. The crescendo and decrescendo create a picture of the wind formed by the hula dancers. The voice carries the excitement of the luau.

What Kind of Structure or Form Does it Have?
There is repetition every ten measures. The background music doesn't change throughout the song. It is like the ebb and flow of the tide. The melodic pattern repeats three times. Using a natural vocal sound, Ho sings loud and soft to create a picture of changes in the weather, the tide, and the seasons. The ending of the song is like the sunset, gathering the nets, the boat, and the amaama. The last verse is a repeat of the first stanza.

What Does It Sound or Look Like?
Jack Owens starts out with excitement and happiness at the first of the day for the luau. Everyone gets ready for the fun with dancing and waiting for the big feast. There is disappointment because they only bring in small fish, but their spirits are high and they wait for the next days catch. The next day is the same as the first. There isn't much luck, but they still have fun and enjoy one another's company. They repeat this event each day until they are successful in catching fish large enough to eat. The days start out the same, like the song. It is very cyclical.