When planning your visit to Kilauea volcano, check the calendar at Volcano Art Center and you might be lucky enough to enjoy a performance of Hawai’i’s most treasured art form, hula kahiko. Halau hula (schools) from around the islands and the mainland share their sacred connection to hula at the edge of Halema’uma’u crater, the revered resting place of Pele, goddess of fire.
One legend as to the birth of hula tells us Hi’iaka, goddess of the seas, began dancing to entertain and calm her sister Pele.
Centuries ago, written communication did not exist in Hawai’i. Hula kahiko became both language and lineage to the people. Hawai’ians shared the graceful and mesmerizing combination of hula and chant (mele) as a physical means through which to pass their culture on to the next generation; legends of gods, history of kings, family geneology and their spiritual connection to the land.
This tradition continues today within each halau. Hula is a philosophy to be shared and the kumu hula is both master and spiritual guide for the dancers. As the late Kumu Aunty Mae Ulalia Loebenstein said, “When you dance there are two of you, your spiritual self and your physical self. The spirit has to dance.”
When you stay at our bed and breakfast near Kona, Hawaii, and feel inspired to learn more about hulu, or would even like to take a lesson, check the schedule at Nawaiiwiola, located just down the road from us in Keahou.