Hula

Hula

See how Hawaii's native dance, hula, has become a source of identity and pride.

Grades

K, 1 - 12+

Subjects

Arts and Music, Social Studies, U.S. History

Image

Hula

Photo of three female hula dancers.

Photograph by Steve Raymer, National Geographic
Selected text level

Hula is a native Hawaiian dance. In this video from the National Geographic Channel, dancers and historians explain the origins and development of hula. Outline

  • Birth of the Hula (start-0:45)

  • Hula is Banned (0:46-1:10)

  • Rebirth of Hula (1:11-1:45)

  • Making Hula Relevant to a Modern Audience (1:46-2:08)

  • Merrie Monarch Festival (2:09-2:50)

HulaHalauHaumana? Huh? Use our “Vocabulary” tab to help sort out your mele from your macadamia nutsTeaching Strategies The following tabs offer suggestions for using this video as a learning tool. Use “Fast Facts” to understand the history of hula. Use “Questions” to help students develop a greater appreciation of this important part of Hawaiian culture. Use “Vocabulary” to identify language associated with hula.

Fast Fact

  • Hula instructor Emily Kau’i Zuttermeister tells a story about the birth of hula. (0:30) The woman Zuttermeister mentions, who went down to the beach and imitated the motion of the waves, was Hi’iaka. Hi’iaka was no ordinary woman—she was the sister of Hawaii’s legendary fire goddess, Pele. Hi’iaka is the goddess of the stormy clouds produced by her sister’s volcanoes.

Fast Fact

  • Hula master Kumano Palani Kuala encourages his students to make a connection between hula and indigenous spirituality. (1:48) Ancient Hawaiians also held hula sacred. The traditional goddess of the hula is Laka, and many ancient hulas were performed in her honor.

Fast Fact

The video spotlights the Merrie Monarch Festival, which honors a legendary king who returned hula to “its rightful place at the center of Hawaiian culture.” (2:20) This was King David Kalakaua, who encouraged a revival of many Hawaiian cultural traditions, including surfing and the martial art of lua, during his reign from 1874-1891. King David Kalakaua’s nickname was “the merry (or merrie) monarch.”

Media Credits

The audio, illustrations, photos, and videos are credited beneath the media asset, except for promotional images, which generally link to another page that contains the media credit. The Rights Holder for media is the person or group credited.

Writer
National Geographic Society, National Geographic Society
Editor
Elena Takaki, National Geographic Society
Producer
National Geographic Society, National Geographic Society
other
Last Updated

May 20, 2022

For information on user permissions, please read our Terms of Service. If you have questions about licensing content on this page, please contact ngimagecollection@natgeo.com for more information and to obtain a license. If you have questions about how to cite anything on our website in your project or classroom presentation, please contact your teacher. She or he will best know the preferred format. When you reach out to him or her, you will need the page title, URL, and the date you accessed the resource.

Media

If a media asset is downloadable, a download button appears in the corner of the media viewer. If no button appears, you cannot download or save the media.

Text

Text on this page is printable and can be used according to our Terms of Service.

Interactives

Any interactives on this page can only be played while you are visiting our website. You cannot download interactives.

Related Resources