The Robin Hood of Hawaii

The Robin Hood of Hawaii

Creative Expression: The Robin Hood of Hawaii

Here’s a simple and engaging way to bring a story to creative life in your classroom.  The story included below is the Ballad of Ioane Ha`a, which tells of the Hawaiian Robin Hood of Mauna Kea.


  • Read the story aloud and identify the characters, place, time, important events.
  • Divide the class into small groups of 2-4 students.
  • Identify 5 or 6 action-oriented moments. Guide your students to create frozen pictures or ‘tableaux’ with their bodies to show the characters in each moment.
  • After creating all of the tableaux, read the story aloud, having the groups create each tableau as you reach that moment in the story.
  • If desired, allow the students to put the frozen pictures into action for a few seconds and freeze again.


The Ballad of I oane  Haʻa

On the mount’n of the great Wākea in the misty, foggy rain,
Was a man who could name every slope, every ditch, every hill and plain. No boundary line or fence,
could keep his horse from riding hence,
An’ wherever he’d roam became his home. Ka ʻōiwi o ka ʻāina nei.

He had a long white beard and the ranchmen feared when he rode onto their land, On a jet-black steed, that would jump and kneel on his firm command.
When it came to roundup time,
All the ranchmen then would find,
That a heifer was missing from their herd, stolen by his hand.

Haʻa ē!
Haʻa ē!
Ma kona lio ʻeleʻele i ka uhiwai ē.
Ke kiaʻi o ka mauna of yesterday.

All the ranchmen knew the very one that was to blame.
When they saw him straddled on his horse across the range,
With eyes like the shimmering sea,
He mau maka ʻālohilohi had he.
He was the dreaded one, Ioane Haʻa was his name.

Then a chase was on but the ranchmen knew that it would be in vain.
For when Ioane Haʻa rode you’d think he was insane.
Over gulch and river, he’d bound, Not a better rider could be found.
And in the end, he’d stop and squat down just to mock their pain.

Haʻa ē!
Haʻa ē!
Ma kona lio ʻeleʻele i ka uhiwai ē.
Ke kiaʻi o ka mauna of yesterday.

The only hope they had was that the law would catch this man.
But even they felt hopeless when that black horse ran.
They combed every rock and hill, Using every last drop of will,
And finally caught him giving him a sentence to the can {NOTE: meaning ‘jail’}.

But nowhere on the island could they hope to find,
A prison that could hold him and his dangerous mind.
So, they put ‘em on a ship to sail,
To Honolulu for a proper jail.
But even that was not enough to keep this man confined.

Haʻa ē!
Haʻa ē!
Ma kona lio ʻeleʻele i ka uhiwai ē.
Ke kiaʻi o ka mauna of yesterday.

In time, he made a prison break and stole again
But this time something was exposed about him when,
The things he took and stole,
He gave to a couple poor and old.
And so, seen was the truth of Ioane Haʻa then.

So, then it was from that point on that all would know,
Ioane was a hero not a criminal.
He never stole out of greed,
He gave it all to the ones in need.
He meʻe kaulana ʻo Ioane no kākou.

Haʻa ē!
Haʻa ē!
On Mauna Kea he would stay,
Protecting the Hawaiian way.

Click Here to download this activity.