If you visit my land, the poi and the fish will be waiting for you. Let this land be yours too.
The traditional hula dances are represented the old Hawaiian wisdoms, they can save it and pass it on. They get you into deep contact with nature and to the intellectual /spiritual side of reality. They harmonize woman’s and man’s aspects of the human nature and they lead us to abilities represented by the old hawaii divinities, Laka and Pele. The hula is the great tool for inner self-expression with the joy and passion of today’s modern times.
In old times the hula was the primary device for dialogue with the gods of nature. Hula dancers accompanied the kumus or kahunas in the Ohanas ( extended family, tribe) restoring/setting back health and happiness rituals. The fighters had a separate dance. But the rulers had a special dance, too. The hula has never meant merely a dance – it was mostly an efficient method of divine energies’ call by dancers movements. According to several traditions the hula was brought to Hawaii by Hopoe who was not other than Pele the goddess’s sister, Hi’iaka-i-ka-poli-a-o-Pele ’s companion. Nowadays hula helps becoming one with nature. It is the romantic way of masculin and feminin nature’s expression, the development of vitality, joy and passion!
The hula is Hawaii’s soul, expressed by movement. It is not possible to know exactly what were the beginnings of the development of the hula but the Hawaiians say, that the hula became a saint ritual by the first dancer who was a god or goddess. The dancers were often women and men mixed according to the historical sources. The Hawaiian hula is unique and much differs from all the other Polynesian dances. In the beginning it was a part of religious ceremonies mainly, pahu (a drum was hollowed from the trunk of a coco-palm tree and covered with shark leather) its accompaniment. Each single move has a significance, every single gesture of the hands exceptionally essential in the hula because stories are told with the hands. The dancer’s moves present plants, animals, phenomena, they may tell a story about a storm or even a fight. The dancer who’s imitating the swimming shark or a rocking palm really believes in the fact that he becomes a shark or a palm.
The songs (mele) tell stories about all of the aspects of the Hawaiians’s life: gods, famous fighters, important historical circumstances, birth, life and death, quite often the wave riding… and mainly: affection and love.
Beacuse the old hula was always a sacred dance, the dancers’ training in the halau hula (schools of hula) took place in a strictly regulated way. The kumuk was expected a totally obedient behaviour from the students. They danced on a platform where the goddess Laka’s altar took place which was decorated with flowers. The end of their learning were signed by special rituals and ceremonies which were presented for their knowledge. Today’s hula schools are operated by these similar principles.
In the XIX. century the hula almost disappeared from the world (totally )by the missionaries’s continually growing effect. The missionaries found it as a pagan and a wicked habit. The king, David Kalakaua saved it from going out of mind by establishing a unique dance ensemble, and encouraged his people to the learning of the old dances.
Two kinds of Hula dance exist. Hula kahiko (sacred, old, temple), which is danced in traditional clothes, with old songs and drums as a backing. Hula auana (modern style) takes place in modern clothing with the accompaniment of guitars, ukulele and modern songs.
In today’s times on Hawaii there are more than a hundred hula schools running. Hula is the opera, the theatre, the educational hall and the chancel of the Islands of Hawaii.
New songs and new dances always come into existence, but the aim of the hula is still the same as always: teaching Hawaiian culture and stories, conserving values, strengthening the vitality and joy, raising the dancers’ consciousness onto a higher spiritual level.
The word ’hula’ means : lightning the inside fire. Hula is the language of the heart and love. It is the beauty, the grace and the energy itself. For the Europeans who first see hula, seems as if the dancers are swimming in the air, with a perfect harmony with the sky, the land and their own body.
The dancers’ foot has a strong connection with the land, the movement of the hip serves the free flow of the energy, the hand tells the stories with itself in an adhesive way. The easy-going, graceful moves and motions are the results of focusing on the song’s topic.
The free flow of the energy can be seen through the whole body – this is a natural, female motion, although the hula is danced by men as well. They tell a story about the gods and the goddesses, heroes and the beauty of the islands by dancing. The Hawaiians express joy and the love of life in the dance. Everything is natural, which are connected to the body: the movement, the game, the joy, the sexuality, the growth, the health. Hula is the clear love to all forms of life.
Anybody can dance hula, who loves dancing and life. Men and women, old people and children without age and weight limits! The hula heals the spine wonderfully, stretches the rigid joints, repairs the stamina and the motion coordination, sets the joyful presence back in our own body.
The hula kahiko is a shamanistic system too, a ritual way of opening the dancer’s consciousness. There are many hidden messages in the dances attendant song’s text, which are gateways/passages or invisible gates could be focused on its consciousness. The name of all dance techniques are connected to the names of colours. The dancers envoke colours dancing so colours are danced. Dancers have to be under control all colours of their emotional states and to walk through the way towards to the light by learning. Searching the deeper meanings of the hula we have to remember that this dance includes all colours of the light’s spectrum. As we can see one little piece of the light’s spectrum so we can feel one little part of the hula as a viewer. The rest of it is the huna, the invisible part, which is immensely bigger and deeper.
Its final aim – to establish a connection with the holiness, and turn into one with it. The small one, the ego personality basis, which we got used to, marvellously steps back in order to provide place for what is bigger.
Kumu** Hula and Haku Ho’oponopono*** Raylene Ha’alelea Kawaiae’a and Hope Keawe visited into Hungary on 2008’s Autumn to introduce the mysteries of the hula dance.
Kumu Raylene is a Kupuna in Hawaii’s Ohana, is a recognized and respected hula teacher from the Big Islands of Hawaii.
Kumu Raylene represents the traditional ’ from generation to generation teaching ’ – hula’s line. The Hula which taught by Kumu Raylene, sets back the balance between man and nature, raises the spirituals exercises’s energies and its vibration level. Kumu Raylene practises the ho’oponopono as well, has been sharing her knowledge and experiences with people since 1976. She unites the ho’oponopono ’s wisdom with the lifejoy of hula.
She founded her own halau hula (hula school) in 1981. She lives in Kapa`au, Hawaii and works with orphans and children deriving from poor families at the Queen Lili’uokalani’s Childcare Center. Kumu Raylene was the one for those aboriginal Hawaiians (in number 10) who received an invitation for the Dalai Lama’s private audience in Maui. She has 5 children and 9 grandchildren.
The Hula introduction by kumu Raylene and Hope was followed by a series of intense hula workshops guided by Grazyna Jasiota from Poland. Those great events were first profound impulses introducing the Art of Hula in Hungary.
Mahalo Nui Loa!
Where to learn? In Hungary we reccomend the hawaiihula.hu.
**Kumu: master teacher
***Haku: expert, facilitator ; Ho’oponopono: spiritual technique for serving connection’s healing and setting back the balance.