Allison Leiahloha Milham

Uluhaimalama, Legacies of Lili’uokalani: Music and Mana’o of Hawaii’s Last Queen

Allison Leiahloha Milham

Uluhaimalama, Legacies of Lili’uokalani: Music and Mana’o of Hawaii’s Last Queen



Edition Size



Digital print, Letterpress




Box Set


12.25 × 12.25 in


Clamshell box


$ 1,600.00


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This project explores the occupied state of Hawai’i; its political past and history of organized resistance. Milham combines music composed by Queen Lili’uokalani, (played and recorded by the artist), with a detailed portrayal of Hawai’i’s story contained within the accompanying album artwork and packaging. The content plays out in an interactive uncovering; an intense discovery of successive layers to be sifted through, understood, and felt.

Me ke aloha, a hui hou Allison Leialoha Milham Opening Text for the Album (found on the inside cover of the box set):

Uluhaimalama is the name of a garden created by Queen Lili‘uokalani in 1894 as place where people could gather, plant, enjoy the beauty of their works, and talk. Though the Provisional Government responsible for the overthrow had it destroyed, it’s been recently re-established and continues to be a symbol of hope for Native Hawaiians. The kaona, or hidden meaning, of the name is, ‘as the plants grow up out of the dark earth into the light, so shall light come to the nation.’ The Queen’s garden, her writing, music and noble leadership are legacies that have inspired over a century of resistance and activism, and live on today as guiding lights. It is hoped that by sharing the Queen’s music and the story of the struggles she faced, this project will provide a bridge in our limited understanding of Hawai‘i’s past, illuminating the connection between this history and the plight of Native Hawaiians today. Of her over 200 compositions, I’ve chosen a small selection to include on this record, some for the beauty of their melody and others for the meaning they hold. ‘Umia ke Aloha i Pa’a i Loko is one of the songs written by the Queen during her imprisonment, containing secret messages urging her people to persist during the turmoil of the overthrow and surrounding events. The mele was smuggled out and published in the Hawaiian-language newspaper Ka Makaainana, ‘The Commoner.’ Another composition from this time, The Queen’s Prayer, reveals her profound compassion as she asks God’s forgiveness for her oppressors. Ke Aloha ‘Aina is a plea for the land and life of the nation and was also published in Ka Makaainana. It ends with the line, Oh my love and adoration for my native people. Be of one heart and stand firm with unity. While some of the songs are played in a relatively traditional style, such as Sanoe and Aloha ‘Oe, others evolved in a more unconventional way. Manu Kapalulu, Ka Wiliwiliwai and Ka Wai Mapuna are songs where I’ve combined the Queen’s words with my own compositions, which allowed for a more collaborative and personal experience with the music. The use of both traditional and contemporary techniques is reflected throughout the project.

Custom sectioned clamshell box containing pamphlet, postcards, lei-making kit, lyrics sheet, record in sleeve, stencil-cut portrait. Letterpress printed. Images and text printed from photopolymer plates and laser engraved wood blocks on handmade cotton/abaca, chipboard, and French Papers.

Edition of 50: 10 deluxe, 40 standard. Both versions bound in illustrated printed papers. Standard copies are quarter-cloth bound; deluxe copies are quarter-leather. Title blind embossed on spine.

Postcards, 12″ laser-cut stencil, booklet and other items of ephemera become tools, allowing the viewer to turn their newly acquired knowledge into action.

Pamphlet, “Uncovering Hawai’i’s Past – Beyond
Textbooks & Travel Guides”: 5.5 x 8.5″, 28 pages. Handbound. Illustrated wraps.
Project colophon printed on bottom of this section in the box.
Postcards, “Let the Story Be Told”: 3.5 x 4.5″; 4 cards.
Laid in chipboard wraps with printed band closure.”
Lei making kit: 2 x 3.75″ black envelope containing 49 paper flowers. Thread provided. Instructions included on bottom of custom section for envelope.
Music by Queen Lili’uokalani: record of music selections in printed 12 x 12″ sleeve.
Lyrics printed on 24 x 12″ sheet, folded once forming 4 pages.
Portrait of Queen Lili’ulkalani: 12 x 12″ one stencil-cut sheet.

Colophon: This project was designed, printed and constructed by Allison Leialoha Milham in the spring of 2012 at Small Craft Advisory Press in the Facility for Arts Research, Florida State University, Tallahassee.

Images and text were letterpress printed from photopolymer plates and laser-engraved wood blocks on recycled papers made in the USA. Cover papers were handmade at the Lost Arch Papermill in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and all other paper is from the French Paper Company in Niles, Michigan. The typeface is Adobe Garamond and the hand lettering was done by Julia Dehoff. Stencils were cut on an Epilog Legend EXT. The booklet, stencil, postcard set and music are all available separately, in open editions and varying formats. This box set, however, exists in a limited edition of 50 copies of which the first 10 are deluxe.
Additional resources and a creative project archive can be viewed at

Album Liner Notes:
Allison Leialoha Milham: voice, uku‘lele, guitar, base, accordion, xylophone, percussion. Ian Weir: drums, percussion, balifone, singing bowl.
Jon Copps: steel guitar. This record was made between December 2011 and February 2012 in Tallahasee, Florida.
Produced by Dave Murphy, Ian Weir and Allison Leialoha Milham.
Recorded, engineered and mixed by Dave Murphy at Winterstone Sound and by Ian Weir at Tortoise and the Snare Studios.
Mastered by Ian Weir.
Pointed pen calligraphy and assistance with layout by Julia DeHoff.
Designed, printed, and constructed by Allison Leialoha Milham.
Many people contributed their mana‘o and support to this project. Heartfelt thanks goes to Elinor Langer, La‘akea Byrne, Jon Copps, Julia DeHoff, Velma Frye, Lynette Cruz, Kuhio Vogeler, Noelani Goodyear, Junko Brudenell, Rich Galka, Amy Lee-Pard, Randy Arnold and Jeremy Helm. Additional aloha goes to Ku‘uipo Kumukahi, Ozzie Kotani, Sons of Hawai‘i, Hui Ohana, George Helm, and Israel Kamaka‘wilo‘ole for their musical inspiration.

Special thanks to Glenn Sharron at All Florida Mediaworks and to Dave and Ian for their many good ideas and much positive energy; to Johnny Hill for his invaluable feedback and constant encouragement; to my sisters, Tess and Laura, and to my dad, Mark Milham for their unfailing love and support. Most of all, I want to thank my mom, Mary Alice Ka‘iulani Milham for taking this journey with me. For her inspiration and guidance at every step and for helping me understand my kuleana, my responsibility to act as my heart guides me, I am forever grateful.

This album is dedicated to my grandmother, Dallas Kealiihooneaina Mossman Vogler, who was a talented director and musician, a true visionary and courageous leader in the Hawaiian Sovereignty Movement, and Artis “Deedee” Milham, also a singer and lover of Hawai‘i, who always encouraged me to pursue music.

View Milham’s project workbook here: