Spirituality In Hula

Hula is as much a spiritual statement as it is a physical one. It is a transcendent experience that awakens the senses, inviting the dancer as well as the spectator, to see, hear, feel, smell, touch, and taste the daily lives of Hawaii's ancestors. In essence, Hula is the vehicle that opens the doorway of time, allowing you to live life, if only for a short moment, with our kupuna (ancestors).

In order to arrive at that place of "oneness" with your dance, you must first learn to find the silence within, to clear the mind of your every day "busy-ness." It is in the silence that we find ourselves, and can then become the ipu ha’a (empty gourd of humility), thus being ready to receive the ‘ike (knowledge) that awaits you.

It is only in this place of “emptiness” that you begin to experience a connection with all that surrounds you, just as our ancestors lived every moment of their lives. By doing this, you as well as your audience, are transported to great heights of consciousness, awareness, and enjoyment in your Hula. This is the intent of the dance.

"If you come to the study of Hula as a student and lover of human nature, you will find yourself, through the sensuous posturing and the emotional language of the songs, entering the playground of the human race."

Source: Unwritten Literature of Hawai’i, by Nathaniel B. Emerson

Words & Concepts for Study

The following words, phrases, and concepts will assist you in gaining a deeper understanding of the Hawaiian language and culture. New words will appear periodically.




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