This book examines the role that music has played – and continues to play – in the struggle to preserve the sanctity of Maunakea (also known as Mauna A Wākea and frequently referred to as simply “the mauna”). The book is the result of conversations between the author and many of those individuals most actively involved in defending the mauna, those who composed, performed, recorded, and experienced mele (Hawaiian poetry or song) on the mauna and elsewhere. These mele document the stories, encounters, and emotions of this struggle, many of which were created in the tumultuous months that followed the arrest of 38 kūpuna (elders) on July 17, 2019.

Mele On The Mauna: Perpetuating Genealogies Of Hawaiian Music Resistance will be available from Indiana University Press and online retailers in September 2024. It is part of their Activist Encounters in Folklore and Ethnomusicology series.

Please add your name to our notification list if you wish to be notified when Mele On The Mauna is available for purchase. Please use this contact form to reach the author for any other inquiries.

PLEASE NOTE: This website is a work in progress and will remain so until Mele On The Mauna is released. It will contain links to many of the audio and video recordings referenced in the book, links to individuals and organizations involved in protecting Maunakea, and other valuable information.

About The Author

Dr. Joseph Keola Donaghy is an Associate Professor of Music at the University of Hawai‘i Maui College, where he coordinates the Institute of Hawaiian Music, Music Studies, and is currently Chair of the Humanities Department. He is Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award-winning producer, composer, performer and engineer of Hawaiian and contemporary music, and a founding member of the group A‘ea‘e.

Dr. Donaghy holds an B.A. in Hawaiian Language and M.A. in Hawaiian Language and Literature, both from the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, and a Ph.D. in Music from the University of Otago in Aotearoa New Zealand.