Tuesday, March 20, 2012
ABC Wednesday: H is for Hula
Hula is the soul of Hawaii expressed in motion. Hawaiians agree that the first hula was performed by a god or goddess which makes the dance a sacred ritual. Some believe the hula was only danced by men, but legend and historical sources tells us both men and women danced. Hawaiian hula is unique and totally different from other Polynesian dances.
Every movement in hula has a specific meaning, and every expression of the dancer's hands has great significance. Chants accompany the movements and aid in telling the dancer's story. Today, several hundred halau hula (hula schools) and less formal hula groups are active on every island and the mainland, teaching hula to thousands of students and keeping the old ways and traditional Hawaiian culture alive.