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A great resource for students of traditional Hawaiian dance, this beautiful handbook filled with archival photographs covers the origins,language, etiquette, ceremonies, and the spiritual culture of hula. Hula, the indigenous dance of Hawai'i, preserves significant aspects ofNative Hawaiian culture with strong ties to health and spirituality. Kumu Hula, persons who are culturally recognized hula experts andeducators, maintain and share this cultural tradition, conveying Hawaiian history and spiritual beliefs in this unique form of cultural andcreative expression, comprising specific controlled rhythmic movements that enhance the meaning and poetry of the accompanyingsongs.
Emphasizing the importance of cultural literacy, the Handbook begins with an overview of the origins of hula, its history in Hawai'i, andthe primacy of the spiritual focus of the dance. The book goes on to introduce halau etiquette and practices, and explains the format of atraditional hula presentation, together with the genres of hula and the regalia worn by the dancers. Practical components includesections on Hawaiian language and chant and a glossary of hula commands and footwork.
Author Mahealani Uchiyama trained in Hawaii in the hula lineage of Joseph Kamoha'i Kaha'ulelio and is currently the Kumu Hula at theHalau Ku Ua Tuahine in Berkeley, California. As the founder and artistic director of the Center for International Dance and board memberof Dance Arts West, the producers of San Francisco's annual Ethnic Dance Festival, Uchiyama's approach to hula is deeply holistic andreflects her background in indigenous wisdom traditions and cultural exchange and interaction.