While I was in Hawaii last week, I was fortunate to be able to experience many local customs and traditions. One of these is, of course, Hula dancing. There is a lot more to this than you would expect, and it makes for one heck of an awesome show! Do you know what the tradition behind Hula dancing is?
Hula is a dance form accompanied by chant or song. It was developed in the Hawaiian Islands by the Polynesians who originally settled there. The chant or song is called a mele. The hula dramatizes or comments on the mele.
Hula performed for spontaneous daily amusement or family feasts were attended with no particular ceremony. However, hula performed as entertainment for chiefs were anxious affairs. High chiefs typically traveled from one place to another within their domains. Each locality had to house, feed, and amuse the chief and his or her entourage. Hula performances were a form of fealty, and often of flattery to the chief. There were hula celebrating his lineage and his name. Sacred hula, celebrating Hawaiian gods, were also danced. All these performances must be completed without error (which would be both unlucky and disrespectful).
It’s absolutely beautiful to watch – and not just because the women themselves are gorgeous. Hula dancing is truly an art form, and something you definitely should make time to witness yourself if you are ever in Hawaii.
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