Connected to the Past: Keeping Hawaiian Traditions Alive Through Hula
“To see through the fragments of time to the full power of the original being ... that is a function of art.” —Mythologist Joseph Campbell
In Hawai`i, art has often been a powerful vehicle connecting the Hawaiian people to their past and inspiring us all through its truth-telling and beauty. This is seen in the work of the state’s painters, wood carvers, sculptors, weavers, and more. And it is particularly apparent in the songs (mele), chants (oli), and hula dances that reach deep into the soul of the Hawaiian culture, both keeping its ancient traditions alive and telling its sacred stories.
At Waikoloa Beach Resort, guests and locals alike enjoy hula performances several times a week on stages at both Queens’ MarketPlace and Kings’ Shops, as well as at weekly lū`au at Hilton Waikoloa Village and Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa.
“Respect for the Hawaiian culture was hard-baked from the very beginning into everything we do,” says Scott Head, vice president resort operations. “The music, dance, arts, and crafts of Hawai`i are celebrated year-round throughout the resort. That directive came early on directly from our visionary devel- oper, Ron Boeddeker, and it is gladly adhered to today by every Waikoloa employee.”
On a broader scale, hula is celebrated throughout the islands, and in particular at the annual Merrie Monarch Festival held in Hilo (April 5 - 7, 2018).
Manaola halau performing a hula kahiko at Merrie Monarch Festival in 2016. Photo courtesy of Merrie Monarch Festival.