About Contact Sponsor Volunteer
Info Grafik Inc.
Home Ancient Hawaii Hawaii Timeline articles photos Contribute
Sign InRegister
You're here: Home » Ancient Hawai`i » Hawaiian Culture » Hula

« Return to Hawaiian Culture

Origins of Hula
Hula Sites
Traditional Hula Training
Chant and Hula
Dance Steps and Styles
Instruments and Implements

Talk Story
Timeline Guest!
Find something to talk about on this page? Share your story here.

Add to the Timeline
Add an event or photo.
Add an article on a specific topic, person or detailed event.

Origins of Hula

Before Western contact, hula was danced for social enjoyment but its chants also preserved epic tales, myths, history and philosophy. A dancer's rigorous training and performance were taken seriously with dancers paid and materially supported by the ruling ali`i.

Multiple tales describe the mythic beginnings of hula but the most-often heard is probably that of Pele and her sister Hi`iaka. In this rendering, the first hula was born when Pele begged her sisters to dance and sing for her. Only Hi`iaka stepped forward to perform. She danced for Pele using movements she’d practiced with her good friend Hopoe.

In the Hawaiian pantheon, Hi`iaka is joined by Kapo and Laka as the spiritual patrons of hula. Also a sister of Pele and associated with healing and sorcery, Kapo could be caring or vengeful. Laka is more prominently associated with hula and was symbolized in the halau (hula school) as a block of lama wood placed on an altar and swathed in yellow kapa. Laka was sister and wife to Lono, god of agriculture, and hula was a major part of celebrations during Makahiki, the harvest festival.

 Sites for further information

"More about Hula" (PBS)

Hawaiian Musical Istruments

Hula Implements

Hula Proverbs

Basic Hula Words

Different Types of Hula

Hula Steps and Styles

Hula Accessories and Apparel

Hula Instruments (Huapala: Hawaiian Music and Hula Archives)

Hula Steps (Huapala: Hawaiian Music and Hula Archives)

Online Multimedia Hula Library (Hula Preservation Society)

Hula in Hawai`i (International Encylopedia of Dance)

"The Sacred Side of Hula" (Aloha Airlines)

"Hula and the Hawaiian View of the Natural World" (Moanalua Gardens Foundation)

Hula from a Native Perspective (University of Hawaii)

"Hula Traditonal Hawaiian Dance" Essay, Has Links to Various Star-Bulletin Articles

Report a broken link.

© Info Grafik Inc.     Privacy Policy & Terms of Use.     About the Hawaiian Language on this site.