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Hula Dancer 1

Hula Dancer 1

Hula is the ancient dance of Hawai`i where the movements of the dancers dramatize or enhance the chant, which is called a mele. Unfortunately, when the American Protestant missionaries came to Hawai`i, they denigrated the hula and convinced newly converted ali`i to ban the dance. Fortunately, the hula went underground and was preserved until a more enlighten society allowed it to re-emerge and flower.

Today, many kids — both girls and boys — in Hawai`i learn the dance at an early age — in much the same way that kids on the mainland take ballet lessons or play in little leagues. If you are lucky to participate in a family gathering, more than likely someone will break out an ukulele and accompany one or more family members as they dance the hula.

Otherwise, you can attend one of the fine hula performances that accompany the commercial luaus available on the major islands. This shot was from one of my favorites, the Old Lahaina Luau on Maui.


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Synonyms to account for pure Hawaiian spelling