Friday, February 25, 2011

Hula Girl in a Hula World

I was lucky enough to spend Christmas this past year in Hawaii with my bf's family. While Hawaii can often times seem like a crazy tourist extravaganza there are also a ton of really amazing things about the islands that I didn't know. Settled by Polynesians who arrived 1,500 years ago and Tahitians that arrived 1,000 years ago, the islands have some of the oldest cultural traditions I've ever witnessed. The history itself of Hawaii is really interesting - strict social hierarchies that had been brought by the Tahitians were dissembled in 1810 when King Kamehameha united all the islands into one royal kingdom and then his son Liholiho abolished the old social hierarchies altogether in 1819. Their royal Iolani Palace had electricity and telephone before the White House or Buckingham palace. However the art of Hula and sport of surfing had been developing for centuries already and even when the islands became a territory of and then a state of the U.S. the culture of Hawaii continued.

The hula dancing is one of the most amazing ways to watch history alive in Hawaii right now. I know that seems corny to say but it was honestly one of the most beautiful forms of dance I've ever seen. It was amazing to think that not only was it developing hundreds, possibly thousands of years ago.... but you can also see moves now and then that are totally used in dance these days - like I swear Ciara copped some of these moves in her most recent video. Its awesome that a dance that it so old and traditional can also be so sexy and relevant.

I didn't take these videos but they're from the Old Lahaina Luau that was the one I went to....

This was one of my favorite dances

I really love the outfits in the second half of this

And a few others from other places....

Miss Jacqueline from Nonahere

Old footage from 1965

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