One Minute World Arts- The Fascinating History of Hawai‘i’s Hula Tradition

The Fascinating History of Hawai‘i’s Hula Tradition

The well-known #hula is a unique #Hawaiian dance. Hundreds of years ago, hula was practiced in Hawaii to honor gods and goddesses, and has since carried the responsibility of preserving local cultural and spiritual roots. According to Hawaiian myths, hula was originally performed by Hi'iaka, a goddess, for her elder sister Pele, goddess of volcano and fire. Since there are several different ways how the legendary story is told in different islands, hula styles would also vary by region and geography; for examples: the hula dance from Puna has bombastic chanting, which almost sounds like lava cracking and the roaring of a volcano, and the hula dance on Kaua‘i has melodic and flowy styles like the ocean, very much in line with the island’s pristine beaches.

Hula has gradually become further “modernized” after the “Hawaiian Renaissance” in the 1970s. The annual Merrie Monarch Festival, where hula competitions are held, is now widely regarded as the Olympics of hula. In April 2022, Hālau Ka Lei Mokihana O Leinā‘ala from Kaua‘i became the biggest winner of the festival by making a clean sweep. No matter it is in the category of Kahiko (traditional) or Auana (modern), hula dancers always try their best to present what they sense in the music through their movements, and the life stories and cultural heritage of Hawaiian people are thus interpreted and passed down from generation to generation.



廣為人知的 #呼拉舞(Hula),是夏威夷群島獨特的舞蹈形式。久遠以前,呼拉舞為祭神的舞蹈,也是多年來傳承當地人文史觀的重要載體。根據神話記述,呼拉舞乃是女神希雅卡(Hi'iaka)為她姊姊火山女神佩蕾(Pele)所跳的舞蹈;流傳開來之後,群島間各個不同島嶼,會依據其自身地理環境的條件,發展出樣貌互異的呼拉舞來。舉例來說:夏威夷島上臨近火山公園的普納(Puna)區,其呼拉舞便夾帶著激昂、誇飾的吟唱,氛圍有如火山爆發、熔岩迸裂;而在擁有純淨海灘的考艾島(Kaua‘i)上,那裡的呼拉舞則像浪潮波湧一般,樂音動聽,動作柔美。

隨著時間的推移,呼拉舞在夏威夷 #文藝復興 後邁向「現代化」。每年舉行的 #國際君王節(Merrie Monarch Festival),是大型的呼拉舞競賽慶典,被譽為呼拉舞界的 #奧運;而在今年四月的比賽中,來自考艾島的舞蹈學校Hālau Ka Lei Mokihana O Leinā‘ala橫掃各大獎,成為本屆最大贏家。不論是古典風(Kahiko),還是現代風(Auana),呼拉舞的舞者們都在舉手投足間,透過肢體來演繹音樂裡的故事,生生不息地傳遞屬於夏威夷的文化血脈。