Thursday, March 29, 2012

Hālau Hula Olana Show

A hālau hula is a school in which the ancient Hawaiian dance form called hula is taught. The term comes from hālau, a workshed, and hula, the traditional dance of the Hawaiian Islands. Prior to European contact, the Hawaiian language had no word for "school," as children learned from their parents, aunts, uncles, and elders. Children who showed promise in a specialized art or craft would be apprenticed to a master and work in the master's hālau. School, as a specialized place of instruction, did not exist in Hawai`i prior to the arrival of Christian missionaries.

In ancient times, students joining a hālau hula would be dedicated solely to the study of hula for the duration of their training. Their families would provide maintenance for the support of the hālau. Today, students have set hours for study at the hālau, and often pay monthly dues to help the kumu, roughly "headmaster" of the hālau with support and maintenance.

There is great variation between hālau. Some focus primarily on ancient styles of hula, others on modern styles, and some study both. Some hālau continue to preserve very strict kapu, sacred protocols, while others are noa, or free of kapu. The styles of hula taught in different hālau also can vary greatly. Styles are passed down from kumu to haumana, and knowledgeable students of hula can tell which hula lineage is represented by watching the dancer's presentation.

Golden Princess invited this school to present their cultural dance for us to enjoy.  At the time I understood no video taking was permitted and thus assumed this also applied to this performance.  Upon returning home I have come to learn there are many videos of this group on youtube.  I encourage you to search them out and watch the videos they are great.

Here are just some of the 3D photos I took of the dancers.

Being a Father and Grandfather, I would rate this show 10 out of 10 on the "Cute-O-Meter", they had the be the cutest things we saw on our entire voyage.

Next Post our arrival at Nawiliwili, Kaua'i

Questions or comments always welcome.

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