Hawaiian Word of the Week: Hula kahiko

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Hula is hands down one of my favorite traditions. When I dance, I feel deeply connected to the past. I feel grateful to be telling a story that’s been handed down from generation to generation. With each step and gesture, I’m able to offer a true expression of my heart.

If you’re lucky enough to attend the Merrie Monarch Festival (April 21-27, 2019) or any other hula competition or performance, you’ll notice two types of hula performed. Hula kahiko [hoo' lah kah hee' koh], or ancient hula, is accompanied by chanting and percussion instruments such as the calabash (seed-filled gourds), split bamboo sticks, stones used as castanets, and pahu (drums). Dances typically tell the story of Hawaiian legends, past royalty, and beauty of nature. More on hula and its second form next week.

Meanwhile, I hope you find a moment to do something that connects you with your past and allows you to express what’s in your heart.