Hula /ˈhuːlə/ is a Polynesian dance form accompanied by chant (oli) or song (mele, which is a cognate of "meke" from the Fijian language). It was developed in the Hawaiian Islands by the Polynesians who originally settled there. The hula dramatizes or portrays the words of the oli or mele in a visual dance form.

There are many sub-styles of hula, with the main two categories being Hula ʻAuana and Hula Kahiko. Ancient hula, as performed before Western encounters with Hawaiʻi, is called kahiko. It is accompanied by chant and traditional instruments. Hula, as it evolved under Western influence in the 19th and 20th centuries, is called ʻauana (a word that means "to wander" or "drift"). It is accompanied by song and Western-influenced musical instruments such as the guitar, the ʻukulele, and the double bass.

Terminology for two main additional categories is beginning to enter the hula lexicon: "Monarchy" includes any hula which were composed and choreographed during the 19th century. During that time the influx of Western culture created significant changes in the formal Hawaiian arts, including hula. "Ai Kahiko", meaning "in the ancient style" are those hula written in the 20th and 21st centuries that follow the stylistic protocols of the ancient hula kahiko.

There are also two main positions of a hula dance: either sitting (noho dance) or standing (luna dance). Some dances utilize both forms.

Hula Ad on the U.S. Mainland
In the 1890s and early 1900s, hula dancers and Hawaiian musicians toured the U.S. mainland. This advertisement appeared in an Ohio newspaper in 1921.

Hula dancing is a complex art form, and there are many hand motions used to represent the words in a song or chant. For example, hand movements can signify aspects of nature, such as the swaying of a tree in the breeze or a wave in the ocean, or a feeling or emotion, such as fondness or yearning. Foot and hip movements often pull from a basic library of steps including the kaholo, kaʻo, kawelu, hela, ʻuwehe, and ʻami.

There are other related dances (tamure, hura, 'aparima, 'ote'a, haka, kapa haka, poi, Fa'ataupati, Tau'olunga, and Lakalaka) that come from other Polynesian islands such as Tahiti, The Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga and New Zealand; however, the hula is unique to the Hawaiian Islands.[1]

Hula Kahiko Hawaii Volcanoes National Park 01
Hula kahiko performance in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park
US Navy hula 031112-N-3228G-001
Hula in Hawaiʻi. Here, hula is performed by Kumu Hula Frank Kawaikapuokalani Hewett for a ceremony turning over U.S. Navy control over the island of Kahoʻolawe to the state.

Hula kahiko

Hula Kahiko Hawaii Volcanoes National Park 02
Hula kahiko performance at the pa hula in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Hula kahiko, often defined as those hula composed prior to 1894 which do not include modern instrumentation (such as guitar, ʻukulele, etc.), encompasses an enormous variety of styles and moods, from the solemn and sacred to the frivolous. Many hula were created to praise the chiefs and performed in their honor, or for their entertainment. Types of hula kahiko include ʻālaʻapapa, haʻa, ʻolapa, and many others. Today hula kahiko is simply stated as "Traditional" Hula.

Many hula dances are considered to be a religious performance, as they are dedicated to, or honoring, a Hawaiian goddess or god. As was true of ceremonies at the heiau, the platform temple, even a minor error was considered to invalidate the performance. It might even be a presage of bad luck or have dire consequences. Dancers who were learning to do such hula necessarily made many mistakes. Hence they were ritually secluded and put under the protection of the goddess Laka during the learning period. Ceremonies marked the successful learning of the hula and the emergence from seclusion.

Hula kahiko is performed today by dancing to the historical chants. Many hula kahiko are characterized by traditional costuming, by an austere look, and a reverence for their spiritual root.

Chant (Oli)

Old Lahaina Luau 2009-07
Hula dancers in a Luau in Lāhainā, in traditional leaf skirts

Hawaiian history was oral history. It was codified in genealogies and chants, which were memorized and passed down. In the absence of a written language, this was the only available method of ensuring accuracy. Chants told the stories of creation, mythology, royalty, and other significant events and people.

The‘Ōlelo No’eau (Hawaiian saying or proverb), “‘O ‘oe ka lua’ahi o kāu mele,” translates loosely as “You bear both the good and the bad consequences of the poetry you compose” [2] The idea behind this saying originates from the ancient Hawaiian belief that language possessed mana, or “power derived from a spiritual source” [3] particularly when delivered through oli (chant). Therefore, skillful manipulation of language by haku mele (composers) and chanters was of utmost reverence and importance. Oli was an integral component of ancient Hawaiian society, and arose in nearly every social, political and economic aspect of life.

Traditional chant types are extremely varied in context and technical components, and cover a broad range of specific functions. Among them (in vague descending order of sacredness) exist mele pule (prayer), hula kuahu (ritual dance), kū’auhau (cosmogeny), ko’ihonua (genealogy), hānau (birth), inoa (name), ma’i (procreation/genital), kanikau (lamentation), hei (game), ho’oipoipo (love), and kāhea (expression/call out). [4] An important distinction between oli, hula, and mele is as follows: mele can hold many different meanings, and is often translated to mean simply, song. However, in a more broad sense, mele can be taken to mean poetry or linguistic composition. Hula (chant with dance) and oli (chant without dance) are two general styles in which mele can be used/performed. Generally, “all mele may be performed as oli (chant without dance), but only certain types such as name chants, sex chants, love chants, and chants dedicated to the [‘aumakua] gods of hula (ritual dance), may be performed as hula (chant with dance).” [5]

'Olelo Hawai'i (Hawaiian language) contains 43 different words to describe voice quality; the technique and particularity of chanting styles is crucial to understanding their function. The combination of general style (with or without dance) and the context of the performance determines what vocal style a chant will use. Kepakepa, kāwele, olioli, ho’āeae, ho’ouēuē, and ‘aiha’a are examples of styles differentiated by vocal technique. Kepakepa sounds like rapid speech and is often spoken in long phrases. Olioli is a style many would liken to song, as it is melodic in nature and includes sustained pitches [6] , often with ‘i’i, or vibrato of the voice thats hold vowel tones at the ends of lines.

A law passed in Hawai’i in 1896 (shortly after American overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom) banned the use of ‘Ōlelo Hawai’i in schools. This, in combination with a general usurpation of Hawaiian social, political, and linguistic autonomy resulted in a mass decline of the Hawaiian language, to the near brink of extinction. As a result of Americanization, including the spread of Christianity, many traditional chants became viewed as pagan and were ultimately forgotten. But a cultural resurgence beginning in the late 1960s, and carrying through to today has revitalized many Hawaiian practices, including spoken language and chant, and has been furthered by increasing support from various institutions, including Pūnana Leo Hawaiian language immersion schools, funded by the Hawai’i State Department of Education as well as major hula competitions such as the Merrie Monarch Festival, which officially began in 1971. [7]

In hālau hula (hula schools) asking permission to enter the space in order to partake in the knowledge of the kumu (teacher) is a key component to being a student. Many hālau use a variation of “Kūnihi,” [8] an oli kāhea, most typically done in an olioli style. Students often stand outside the entrance and chant repeatedly until the kumu decides to grant them permission to enter, and uses a different chant in response. This is an example of how oli is integrated into modern day cultural practices, within the context of hula training.

Instruments and implements

Joann K
Hula dance researcher Joann Kealiinohomoku with hula implements Puʻili and ʻuliʻuli
  • Ipu—single gourd drum
  • Ipu heke—double gourd drum
  • Pahu—sharkskin covered drum; considered sacred
  • Puniu—small knee drum made of a coconut shell with fish skin (kala) cover
  • ʻIliʻili—water-worn lava stone used as castanets
  • ʻUlīʻulī—feathered gourd rattles (also ʻulili)
  • Pūʻili—split bamboo sticks
  • Kālaʻau—rhythm sticks

The dog's-tooth anklets sometimes worn by male dancers could also be considered instruments, as they underlined the sounds of stamping feet.


Dancer with ʻuliʻuli, hula kahiko competition, Merrie Monarch Festival 2003

Traditional female dancers wore the everyday pāʻū, or wrapped skirt, but were topless. Today this form of dress has been altered. As a sign of lavish display, the pāʻū might be much longer than the usual length of tapa, or barkcloth, which was just long enough to go around the waist. Visitors report seeing dancers swathed in many yards of tapa, enough to increase their circumference substantially. Dancers might also wear decorations such as necklaces, bracelets, and anklets, as well as many lei (in the form of headpieces (lei poʻo), necklaces, bracelets, and anklets (kupeʻe)), and other accessories.

Traditional male dancers wore the everyday malo, or loincloth. Again, they might wear bulky malo made of many yards of tapa. They also wore necklaces, bracelets, anklets, and lei.

The materials for the lei worn in performance were gathered in the forest, after prayers to Laka and the forest gods had been chanted.

The lei and tapa worn for sacred hula were considered imbued with the sacredness of the dance, and were not to be worn after the performance. Lei were typically left on the small altar to Laka found in every hālau, as offerings.


Hula performed for spontaneous daily amusement or family feasts were attended with no particular ceremony. However, hula performed as entertainment for chiefs were anxious affairs. High chiefs typically traveled from one place to another within their domains. Each locality had to house, feed, and amuse the chief and his or her entourage. Hula performances were a form of fealty, and often of flattery to the chief. During the performances the males would start off and the females would come later to close the show off. Most kahiko performances would begin with an opening dance, kaʻi,[9] and end with a closing dance, hoʻi,[10] to state the presence of the hula. There were hula celebrating his lineage, his name, and even his genitals (hula maʻi).[11] Sacred hula, celebrating Hawaiian gods, were also danced. All these performances must be completed without error (which would be both unlucky and disrespectful).

Visiting chiefs from other domains would also be honored with hula performances. This courtesy was often extended to important Western visitors.

Hula ʻauana

Dancer (Hula ʻauana), Merrie Monarch Festival

Modern hula arose from adaptation of traditional hula ideas (dance and mele) to Western influences. The primary influences were Christian morality and melodic harmony. Hula ʻauana still tells or comments on a story, but the stories may include events since the 1800s. The costumes of the women dancers are less revealing and the music is heavily Western-influenced.


The mele of hula ʻauana are generally sung as if they were popular music. A lead voice sings in a major scale, with occasional harmony parts.

The subject of the songs is as broad as the range of human experience. People write mele hula ʻauana to comment on significant people, places or events or simply to express an emotion or idea.


The musicians performing hula ʻauana will typically use portable acoustic stringed instruments.

used as part of the rhythm section, or as a lead instrument
  • Steel guitar—accents the vocalist
  • Bass—maintains the rhythm

Occasional hula ʻauana call for the dancers to use implements, in which case they will use the same instruments as for hula kahiko. Often dancers use the ʻUlīʻulī (feathered gourd rattle).


Kealii Reichel Hula Halau 2005 01
Kealiʻi Reichel Hula Hālau

The traditional Hawaiian hula costume includes kapa cloth skirts and men in just the malo (loincloth) however, during 1880s hula ‘auana was developed from western influences. It is during this period that the grass skirt began to be seen everywhere although, Hula ‘auana costumes are usually more western-looking, with dresses for women and pants for men.[12]

Regalia plays a role in illustrating the hula instructor's interpretation of the mele. From the color of their attire to the type of adornment worn, each piece of an auana costume symbolizes a piece of the mele auana, such as the color of a significant place or flower. While there is some freedom of choice, most hālau follow the accepted costuming traditions. Women generally wear skirts or dresses of some sort. Men may wear long or short pants, skirts, or a malo (a cloth wrapped under and around the groin). For slow, graceful dances, the dancers will wear formal clothing such as a muʻumuʻu for women and a sash for men. A fast, lively, "rascal" song will be performed by dancers in more revealing or festive attire. The hula kahiko is always performed with bare feet, but the hula ʻauana can be performed with bare feet or shoes. In the old times, they had their leis and other jewelry but their clothing was much different. Females wore a wrap called a "paʻu" made of tapa cloth and men wore loincloths, which are called "malo." Both sexes are said to have gone without a shirt. Their ankle and wrist bracelets, called "kupeʻe", were made of whalebone and dogteeth as well as other items made from nature. Some of these make music-shells and bones will rattle against each other while the dancers dance. Women perform most Hawaiian hula dances. Female hula dancers usually wear colorful tops and skirts with lei. However, traditionally, men were just as likely to perform the hula. A grass skirt is a skirt that hangs from the waist and covers all or part of the legs. Grass skirts were made of many different natural fibers, such as hibiscus or palm.


Honoring the fallen 130327-A-UG106-038
Kumu Hula Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, Honolulu, 2013

Hula is taught in schools or groups called hālau. The teacher of hula is the kumu hula. Kumu means "source of knowledge", or literally "teacher".

Often there is a hierarchy in hula schools - starting with the kumu (teacher), alaka'i (leader), kokua (helpers), and then the 'olapa (dancers) or haumana (students). This is not true for every hālau, but it does occur often. Most, if not all, hula halau(s) have a permission chant in order to enter wherever they may practice. They will collectively chant their entrance chant, then wait for the kumu to respond with the entrance chant, once he or she is finished, the students may enter. One well known and often used entrance or permission chant is Kunihi Ka Mauna/Tunihi Ta Mauna.


Legendary origins

Jean Augustin Franquelin (after Louis Choris), Danse des femmes dans les iles Sandwich (1822) (cropped)
Female dancers of the Sandwich Islands depicted by Louis Choris, the artist aboard the Russian ship Rurick, which visited Hawai'i in 1816

There are various legends surrounding the origins of hula.

According to one Hawaiian legend, Laka, goddess of the hula, gave birth to the dance on the island of Molokaʻi, at a sacred place in Kaʻana. After Laka died, her remains were hidden beneath the hill Puʻu Nana.

Another story tells of Hiʻiaka, who danced to appease her fiery sister, the volcano goddess Pele. This story locates the source of the hula on Hawaiʻi, in the Puna district at the Hāʻena shoreline. The ancient hula Ke Haʻa Ala Puna describes this event.

Another story is when Pele, the goddess of fire was trying to find a home for herself running away from her sister Namakaokahaʻi (the goddess of the oceans) when she finally found an island where she couldn't be touched by the waves. There at chain of craters on the island of Hawai'i she danced the first dance of hula signifying that she finally won.

Kumu Hula (or "hula master") Leato S. Savini of the Hawaiian cultural academy Hālau Nā Mamo O Tulipa, located in Waiʻanae, Japan, and Virginia, believes that hula goes as far back as what the Hawaiians call the Kumulipo, or account of how the world was made first and foremost through the god of life and water, Kane. Kumu Leato is cited as saying, "When Kane and the other gods of our creation, Lono, Kū, and Kanaloa created the earth, the man, and the woman, they recited incantations which we call Oli or Chants and they used their hands and moved their legs when reciting these oli. Therefore this is the origin of hula."

19th century

Hula dancers, photograph by J. J. Williams (PPWD-6-4.027)
Hula dancers, c1885.

American Protestant missionaries, who arrived in 1820, often denounced the hula as a heathen dance holding vestiges of paganism. The newly Christianized aliʻi (royalty and nobility) were urged to ban the hula. In 1830 Queen Kaʻahumanu forbade public performances.[13] However, many of them continued to privately patronize the hula. By the 1850s, public hula was regulated by a system of licensing.

The Hawaiian performing arts had a resurgence during the reign of King David Kalākaua (1874–1891), who encouraged the traditional arts. With the Princess Lili'uokalani who devoted herself to the old ways, as the patron of the ancients chants (mele, hula), she stressed the importance to revive the diminishing culture of their ancestors within the damaging influence of foreigners and modernism that was forever changing Hawaii.

Practitioners merged Hawaiian poetry, chanted vocal performance, dance movements and costumes to create the new form, the hula kuʻi (kuʻi means "to combine old and new"). The pahu appears not to have been used in hula kuʻi, evidently because its sacredness was respected by practitioners; the ipu gourd (Lagenaria sicenaria) was the indigenous instrument most closely associated with hula kuʻi.

Ritual and prayer surrounded all aspects of hula training and practice, even as late as the early 20th century. Teachers and students were dedicated to the goddess of the hula, Laka.

20th century hula dancing

"Honolulu Entertainers" sideshow at a circus in Salt Lake City, 1920

Hula changed drastically in the early 20th century as it was featured in tourist spectacles, such as the Kodak Hula Show, and in Hollywood films. However, a more traditional hula was maintained in small circles by older practitioners. There has been a renewed interest in hula, both traditional and modern, since the 1970s and the Hawaiian Renaissance.

In response to several Pacific island sports teams using their respective native war chants and dances as pre-game ritual challenges, the University of Hawaii football team started doing a war chant and dance using the native Hawaiian language that was called the ha'a before games in 2007.

Since 1964, the Merrie Monarch Festival has become an annual one week long hula competition held in the spring that attracts visitors from all over the world. It is to honor King David Kalākaua who was known as the Merrie Monarch as he revived the art of hula. [14] Although Merrie Monarch was seen as a competition among hula hālaus, it later became known as a tourist event because of the many people it attracted. [15]


  • Kumu Hula: Keepers of a Culture (1989) Directed by Robert Mugge.
  • Holo Mai Pele - Hālau ō Kekuhi (2000) Directed by Catherine Tatge
  • American Aloha : Hula Beyond Hawaiʻi (2003) By Lisette Marie Flannery & Evann Siebens
  • Hula Girls (2006)
  • The Haumana (2013)
  • Kumu Hina (2014)


  • Nathaniel Emerson, The Myth of Pele and Hi'iaka. This book includes the original Hawaiian of the Pele and Hi'iaka myth and as such provides an invaluable resource for language students and others.
  • Nathaniel Emerson, The Unwritten Literature of Hawaii. Many of the original Hawaiian hula chants, together with Emerson's descriptions of how they were danced in the nineteenth century.
  • Amy Stillman, Hula `Ala`apapa. An analysis of the `Ala`apapa style of sacred hula.
  • Ishmael W. Stagner: Kumu hula : roots and branches. Honolulu : Island Heritage Pub., 2011. ISBN 978-1-59700-621-7
  • Jerry Hopkins, The Hula; A Revised Edition: Bess Press Inc., 2011. ISBN 978-1-57306-312-8
  • Nanette Kilohana Kaihawanawana Orman, ʻʻHula Sister: A Guide to the Native Dance of Hawaiiʻʻ. Honolulu: Island Heritage Pub., 2015. ISBN 1-61710-257-1.

See also

  • Cordyline fruticosa, the kī, a sacred plant whose leaves are traditionally used for hula skirts


  1. ^ Leilani Holmes, Ancestry of Experience: A Journey into Hawaiian Ways of Knowing (Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2012), 6.
  2. ^ Silva, Kalena (1989). "HAWAIIAN CHANT: DYNAMIC CULTURAL LINK OR ATROPHIED RELIC?". The Journal of the Polynesian Society. 98 (1): 85–90. JSTOR 20706253.
  3. ^ Silva, Kalena (1989). "HAWAIIAN CHANT: DYNAMIC CULTURAL LINK OR ATROPHIED RELIC?". The Journal of the Polynesian Society. 98 (1): 85–90. JSTOR 20706253.
  4. ^ Tatar, Elizabeth (1981). "Toward a Description of Precontact Music in Hawai'i". Ethnomusicology. 25 (3): 481–492. doi:10.2307/851556. JSTOR 851556.
  5. ^ Tatar, Elizabeth (1981). "Toward a Description of Precontact Music in Hawai'i". Ethnomusicology. 25 (3): 481–492. doi:10.2307/851556. JSTOR 851556.
  6. ^ Tatar, Elizabeth (1981). "Toward a Description of Precontact Music in Hawai'i". Ethnomusicology. 25 (3): 481–492. doi:10.2307/851556. JSTOR 851556.
  7. ^ Silva, Kalena (1989). "HAWAIIAN CHANT: DYNAMIC CULTURAL LINK OR ATROPHIED RELIC?". The Journal of the Polynesian Society. 98 (1): 85–90. JSTOR 20706253.
  8. ^ Silva, Kalena (1989). "HAWAIIAN CHANT: DYNAMIC CULTURAL LINK OR ATROPHIED RELIC?". The Journal of the Polynesian Society. 98 (1): 85–90. JSTOR 20706253.
  9. ^ Mary Kawena Pukui and Samuel Hoyt Elbert (2003). "lookup of kaʻi". in Hawaiian Dictionary. Ulukau, the Hawaiian Electronic Library, University of Hawaii Press.
  10. ^ Mary Kawena Pukui and Samuel Hoyt Elbert (2003). "lookup of hoʻi". in Hawaiian Dictionary. Ulukau, the Hawaiian Electronic Library, University of Hawaii Press.
  11. ^ Mary Kawena Pukui and Samuel Hoyt Elbert (2003). "lookup of maʻi". in Hawaiian Dictionary. Ulukau, the Hawaiian Electronic Library, University of Hawaii Press.
  12. ^ "A Hip Tradition". Smithsonian. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  13. ^ Missionaries and the Decline of Hula,; also: Hong, Cesily, "The Power of the Hula: A Performance Text for Appropriating Identity Among First Hawaiian Youth" (2013). Doctoral Dissertations. Paper 56, p. 21: Queen Ka’ahumanu, the favorite wife of Kamehameha I and an acting Regent during the reign of Kamehameha II and Kamehameha III became a practicing Christian, and banned the hula and accompanying mele from all public venues.
  14. ^ Stacy Kamehiro, The Arts of Kingship: Hawaiian Art and National Culture of the Kalakaua Era (Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2009), 2.
  15. ^ Heather Diamond, American Aloha: Cultural Tourism and the Negotiation of Tradition (Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2007), 49.

External links

Admirable-class minesweeper

The Admirable class was one of the largest and most successful classes of minesweepers ordered by the United States Navy during World War II. Typically, minesweepers detected and removed naval mines before the rest of the fleet arrived, thereby ensuring safe passage for the larger ships. They were also charged with anti-submarine warfare (ASW) duties with rear-mounted depth charge racks and a forward-firing Hedgehog antisubmarine mortar. Their job was essential to the safety and success of U.S. naval operations during World War II and the Korean War. These minesweepers were also employed as patrol vessel and convoy escorts.

As a part of Project Hula – a secret 1945 program that transferred 149 U.S. Navy ships to the Soviet Navy at Cold Bay, Territory of Alaska, in anticipation of the Soviet Union joining the war against Japan – the U.S. Navy transferred 24 Admirable-class minesweepers to the Soviet Navy between May and August 1945. At least some of them saw action in the Soviet offensive against Japanese forces in Northeast Asia in August 1945. The Soviet Union never returned them to the United States.After World War II, the United States transferred Admirable-class minesweepers to the Republic of China Navy, the Republic of China's Chinese Maritime Customs Service, the Republic of Korea Navy, the Republic of Vietnam Navy, and the Dominican, Mexican, Myanmar, and Philippine navies.

USS Hazard survives as a museum ship on dry land in Omaha, Nebraska. USS Inaugural was a museum ship on the Mississippi River in St. Louis, until she sank during the Great Flood of 1993.

USS Scuffle was scuttled off the coast of Cozumel, Mexico in 1999. It is now a popular site for scuba diving.


Al-Dirbashiyya (Arabic: الدرباشية‎) was a Palestinian Arab village in the Safad Subdistrict. It was depopulated during the 1947–1948 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine on May 10, 1948, by the Palmach's First Battalion of Operation Yiftach. It was located 20 km northeast of Safad in the Hula Valley, bordering Hula Lake.

George Naʻope

George Lanakilakekiahialiʻi Naʻope (February 25, 1928 – October 26, 2009), born in Kalihi, Hawaiʻi and raised in Hilo, was a celebrated kumu hula, master Hawaiian chanter, and leading advocate and preservationist of native Hawaiian culture worldwide. He taught hula dancing for over sixty years in Hawaiʻi, Japan, Guam, Australia, Germany, England, North America, and South America.Naʻope was a scholar of ancient hula, which is hula developed and danced before 1893. He first studied hula at the age of three years under his great-grandmother, Mary Malia Pukaokalani Naʻope, who lived to be over 100 years old. At the age of four he began to study with Mary Kanaele, the mother and teacher of Edith Kanaka'ole. When he moved to Oʻahu at the age of ten, he studied for ten years with Joseph Ilalaʻole. After graduating from high school, Naʻope moved to Honolulu where he opened the George Naʻope Hula School, then later continued his studies under Kumu Hula Lokalia Montgomery and Tom Hiona.Naʻope began to teach hula at the age of thirteen. His family was poor, so he taught hula for fifty cents per week in order to continue to pay for school. He taught chant and kahiko to the Ray Kinney dancers, and traveled with Ray Kinney.In 1964, Naʻope founded the Merrie Monarch Festival, an annual week-long festival of traditional Hawaiian arts, crafts, and performances featuring a three-day hula competition. The festival became both a popular success and an important part of the Hawaiian Renaissance. In an interview Naʻope said of founding the festival, "I felt the hula was becoming too modern and that we have to preserve it. David Kalakaua [King of Hawaii, 1874–91; aka "The Merrie Monarch"] brought the hula back to Hawaii and made us realize how important it was for our people. There was nothing here in Hilo, so I decided to honor Kalakaua and have a festival with just hula. I didn't realize that it was going to turn out to be one of the biggest things in our state."

Naʻope was honored with numerous other awards, including being named a Living Treasure of Hawai'i by the Buddhist temple Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawai'i, "Treasure of Hawaiʻi" by President George W. Bush and the Smithsonian Institution, and receiving a National Heritage Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts in 2006, which is the United States' highest honor in the folk and traditional arts.In 2007, Naʻope founded the Halau Hula Is Hawai'i Trust and Hula Is Hawai'i, LLC, and instructed his entire estate to be placed into his trust. Despite his Last Will and Testament, certain individuals went against his wishes.

Naʻope founded the Humu Moʻolelo, a quarterly journal of the hula arts.

Grass skirt

A grass skirt is a costume and garment made with layers of plant fibres such as grasses (Poaceae) and leaves that is fastened at the waistline.

Hula (software)

Hula was an open source mail and calendar project based on open standards announced on February 15, 2005 by Novell.

Hula Bowl

The Hula Bowl was an independently administered post-season invitational college football game held annually in Hawaii from 1947 to 2008, usually in January. The game was last played at Aloha Stadium in the Halawa district of Honolulu. At one point the longest-running sporting event in Hawaii, it had been considered a premier venue to launch professional careers in the National Football League (NFL).

Hula Dancer

Hula Dancer (foaled 1960 in Kentucky) was an American-bred French-trained Thoroughbred racehorse.

Hula Girls

Hula Girls (フラガール, Fura gāru) is a Japanese film, directed by Sang-il Lee and co-written by Lee and Daisuke Habara, and first released across Japanese theaters on September 23, 2006. Starring Yū Aoi, Yasuko Matsuyuki, Etsushi Toyokawa, Shizuyo Yamazaki, Ittoku Kishibe, Eri Tokunaga, Yoko Ikezu and Sumiko Fuji, it is based on the real-life event of how a group of enthusiastic girls take on hula dancing to save their small mining village, Iwaki, helping the formation of Joban Hawaiian Center (now known as Spa Resort Hawaiians), which was later to become one of Japan's most popular theme parks. It received its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Hula Girls was critically acclaimed upon release in Japan and nominated for a total of 12 awards at the 2007 Japan Academy Awards, going on to win five major awards, including that of best film, best director, best screenplay, best supporting actress (for Yū Aoi), and most popular film. It also won two major awards at the 80th Kinema Junpo awards, including that of best film and best supporting actress (for Yū Aoi). Since its release in Japan, the film has been shown across theaters and film festivals worldwide.

Hula Valley

The Hula Valley (Hebrew: עמק החולה, translit. Emek Ha-Ḥula; also transliterated as Huleh Valley) is an agricultural region in northern Israel with abundant fresh water, which used to be Lake Hula, prior to its draining. It is a major stopover for birds migrating along the Syrian-African Rift Valley between Africa, Europe, and Asia. Lake Hula and the marshland surrounding it were a breeding ground for mosquitoes carrying malaria, and so were drained in the 1950s. A small section of the valley was later re-flooded in an attempt to revive a nearly extinct ecosystem. An estimated 500 million migrating birds now pass through the Hula Valley every year.

Hula hoop

A hula hoop is a toy hoop that is

twirled around the waist, limbs or neck.

The modern hula hoop was invented in 1958 by Arthur K. "Spud" Melin and Richard Knerr, but children and adults around the world have played with hoops throughout history. Hula hoops for children generally measure approximately 70 centimetres (28 in) in diameter, while those for adults measure around 1 metre (40 in). Traditional materials for hoops include willow, rattan (a flexible and strong vine), grapevines and stiff grasses. Today, they are usually made of plastic tubing.

Khiyam al-Walid

Khiyam al-Walid (Arabic: خيام الوليد‎) was a Palestinian Arab village in the Safad Subdistrict located 25.5 kilometers (15.8 mi) northeast of Safad along the Syrian border. It was on situated on a hill 150 meters (490 ft) above sea level on the eastern edge of the Hula Valley. In 1945, there were 280 predominantly Muslim inhabitants. It was depopulated during the 1948 Palestine War.

Merrie Monarch Festival

The Merrie Monarch Festival is a week-long cultural festival that takes place annually in Hilo, Hawaii during the week after Easter. It honors King David Kalākaua, who was called the "Merrie Monarch" for his patronage of the arts and is credited with restoring many Hawaiian cultural traditions during his reign, including the hula. Many hālau hula (schools), including some from the U.S. mainland and some international performers, attend the festival each year to participate in exhibitions and competitions. The festival has received worldwide attention and is considered the most prestigious of all hula contests.Merrie Monarch week begins Easter Sunday every year. The competitive hula events end the week, and occur on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday; they are televised and live-streamed online by KHII-TV (formerly KFVE/K5). In 2019 the competitive events run April 25–27.


Māhū ('in the middle') in Kanaka Maoli (Hawaiian) and Maohi (Tahitian) cultures are third gender persons with traditional spiritual and social roles within the culture, similar to Tongan fakaleiti and Samoan fa'afafine, Kāne (men) who have sexual relationships with men are Aikāne.

According to present-day māhū kumu hula Kaua'i Iki:

Māhū were particularly respected as teachers, usually of hula dance and chant. In pre-contact times māhū performed the roles of goddesses in hula dances that took place in temples which were off-limits to women. Māhū were also valued as the keepers of cultural traditions, such as the passing down of genealogies. Traditionally parents would ask māhū to name their children.

Project Hula

Project Hula was a program during World War II in which the United States transferred naval vessels to the Soviet Union in anticipation of the Soviets eventually joining the war against Japan, specifically in preparation for planned Soviet invasions of southern Sakhalin and the Kuril islands. Based at Cold Bay in the Territory of Alaska, the project was active during the spring and summer of 1945. It was the largest and most ambitious transfer program of World War II.

Rock-A-Hula Baby

"Rock-A-Hula Baby ("Twist" Special)" is a 1961 song recorded by Elvis Presley and performed in the 1961 movie Blue Hawaii. The song was also released as a single.

Submarine chaser

A submarine chaser is a small and fast naval vessel that is specifically intended for anti-submarine warfare. Many of the American submarine chasers used in World War I found their way to Allied nations by way of Lend-Lease in World War II.

World Invitational Hula Festival

The World Invitational Hula Festival is a three-day event that perpetuates Hawaiian culture as a celebration of the artistic rendering of the Hawaiian hula dance. The festival is in its 20th year of production and is the largest and farthest reaching event of its kind.

Thousands of participants from 16 countries have honed their hula skills throughout the years and participated in hundreds of events to secure travel to Hawaii each November. Hula artists from American Samoa, Canada, Germany, Guam, the Netherlands, Iran, Japan (14+ cities), Korea, Marianas, Mexico, Namibia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Sweden, the continental U.S. (12+ cities), Western Samoa, and Hawaii participate in this on-going celebration of Hawaiian culture, art, music, dance, language, history and all natural things in the Hawaiian environment.

Yū Aoi

Yu Aoi (蒼井 優, Aoi Yū, born August 17, 1985 in Kasuga, Fukuoka) is a Japanese actress and model. She made her film debut as Shiori Tsuda in Shunji Iwai's 2001 film All About Lily Chou-Chou. She subsequently portrayed Tetsuko Arisugawa in Hana and Alice (2004), also directed by Iwai, Kimiko Tanigawa in the hula dancing film Hula Girls and Hagumi Hanamoto in the 2006 live-action adaptation of the Honey and Clover manga series.

She has won numerous awards for her performances on screen, including the Japan Academy Prize and Kinema Junpo Awards for best supporting actress in 2007 for Hula Girls and Rookie of the Year for continued performances in the field of Films in Media and Fine Arts by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan in 2009.

Zula Hula

Zula Hula is a 1937 Fleischer Studios animated short film starring Betty Boop, and featuring Grampy.Due to the use of negative racial stereotypes, this short is seldom screened today.

Broad culture


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