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Unformatted text preview: http://www.piccom.org/holomaipele/hula1.html The History of Hula BY DR. PUALANI KANAHELE The Meaning of Hula | Chants and Instruments | Continuing the Tradition Creating Holo Mai Pele | The Kanaka'ole Family My family was given a gift, and this gift is the hula that we do. We've preserved this for many generations, teaching this hula to everybody and all of the many generations of people that has come after us. Pualani Kanaka'ole Kanahele Pualani Kanaka'ole Kanahele, who together with her sister Nalani Kanaka'ole created and choreographed Holo Mai Pele , trace their lineage to the very beginnings of hula, the Pele clan itself. Their stature in the community, as well as their mana (spiritual power), reside in the fact that their family has maintained the cultural grounding that many Hawaiians today seek to recover. Today both sisters are Kumu Hula (teachers) at Halau o Kekuhi, the Kanaka'ole Family dance and chant organization. Indeed, the ground is both figuratively and literally the source of their inspiration. Stylistically, Halau o Kekuhi is celebrated for its mastery of the 'aiha'a style of hula, a low-postured, vigorous style that pay tribute to the eruptive personae of Pele and Hi'iaka. "We hardly leave the ground," explains Pualani Kanaka'ole Kanahele. "We get our energy from the earth. Angular, dynamic and primal, Halau o Kekuhi's dances counter the stereotypes of hula popularized in Hollywood movies and commercial television. In the following sections, (excerpted from the companion book to Holo Mai Pele , and from interviews conducted for the film), Pualani Kanaka'ole Kanahele speaks with authority on the tradition and meaning of and chants, the training and discipline required to master it, and the creation of the groundbreaking performance of Holo Mai Pele . The Meaning of Hula We have inherited a rich tradition of hula (dances) and mele oli (chants), full of stories of gods and goddesses, ceremonies, prayers, protocol, imagery, wisdom, and intelligence. Our family is from that area where the caldera [of Kilauea] is, what we call Ka'u and the Puna area on the Island of Hawai'i, which is the southern- most and eastern-most boundaries of this island. Those people that come from that particular place are very much connected to that crater. Different families take care of different aspects of that particular deity. Our family's connection to that deity has to do with the songs and the dances, and retelling some of the stories that the eruption puts forth. So when there is a eruption, it is our responsibility then to make a song about that eruption, so that particular eruption will be kept and will be remembered and will be sung in honor years from now....
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This note was uploaded on 04/08/2011 for the course HWST 107 taught by Professor Kaulia during the Spring '11 term at University of Hawaii, Manoa.
- Spring '11