Friday, May 13, 2005

Hawaiian Island Hosts Hula History Lesson

MOLOKA’I, Hawaii (Wireless Flash - FlashNews) – You might think Hawaiians hula dance for fun but it’s also a moving history lesson – literally.

According to hula historian Kumu John Kaimikawa, the hula movements depict Hawaii’s history and tell stories about wars or volcanic destruction.

Traditional hula started thousands of years ago and Kaimikawa says it happened on the island of Moloka’i, the most central of all the islands.

But old school hula isn’t like the stuff seen in Don Ho concerts. There are no grass skirts, coconut bras or ukuleles. Instead, the dance is accompanied by chanting drums made from gourds and sharkskin.

Although modern hula is popular in Hawaii, for 12 years, Moloka’i residents have been preserving the old ways with “Ka Hula Piko,” an annual festival that will take place this year on May 21.

Other islands also have hula contests but Kaimikawa says “Ka Hula Piko” is more political because dancers use the old movements to tell new stories, such as the recent conflict Moloka’i natives had with software guru John McAfee when he sold 1000 acres of rural land by promising it had “excellent development potential.”

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