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About Hula

Hula is a form of storytelling through dance that was developed by the Polynesian settlers of the Hawaiian islands. The movements of the dance interpret the words and music of an accompanying "mele", which is a chant or song. Various implements may be used by hula dancers to convey their story--these include gourd rattles known as "uli'uli" and bamboo sticks known as "pu'ili".

Hula schools like Ohana Hula are known as "halau", and hula instructors are known as "kumu hula".

Hula Styles

There are two basic types of hula: "kahiko", which is the traditional form of hula developed before the end of the 19th century and "auana", a more modern form of hula developed with influences from Western culture that had been introduced to the Hawaiian islands. Kahiko hula typically is accompanied by chants and traditional Polynesian instruments, while auana hula is performed to more modern music and Western-influenced instruments such as the guitar and ukulele.

There are related forms of Polynesian dance that originated in Tahiti, Samoa and other Polynesian islands, but technically the hula itself is unique to Hawaii.

Dance your way toward more information...

To learn more about the fascinating art of hula, and about other aspects of Hawaiian culture, visit the following informative websites:

If you know of another great site you think should be added to this list, please let us know.

Hula instructor in a blue hula costume