“Hula, the ancient dance of the Hawaiian Islands, portrays the grace and beauty of movement. It is a dance that can depict everything from a gentle breeze, to love, to the harvesting of food, as well and sadness and war. The hula has survived and shall live forever in the hearts of those who dance it and in the hearts of those who have witnessed it. No na mamo ~ for our future generations.”

The Traditional Dance of Hawai'i

Passed down through generations, hula has been practiced since early Polynesians arrived in the islands many years ago.  Hula dances embody the poetic lyrics of the mele or songs to preserve the culture and values of the Hawaiian people.  Hula celebrates the sacredness of creation by depicting all facets of life.  The dances retell legends and history, describe the forces of nature, honor ancestors, convey love for cherished relations, and portray a pantheon of gods and their embodied forms on earth.

Ancient Hula

In ancient Hawai‘i there was no written language.  History, genealogy, legends and spirituality were passed along through an oral tradition.  Dancers were used to illustrate the stories contained within the chants through the use hand and body motions. The kahiko, or ancient style of hula, is characterized by a chanter, who uses either a drum or ipu heke for percussion beat, and a dancer, who embodies the lyrics through movement. 

Modern Hula

‘Auana, the modern style, is an evolution of hula that reflects contact with foreigners and the passage of time.  The melodious songs are accompanied by instruments, such as the guitar, ‘ukulele, piano and bass.  The movement style is softer, more fluid and languid.

Hula Auana

Ka Pi'o O Ke Ānuenue of Ashland Oregon

View information about Ashland's Hula Halau, Ka Pi'o O Ke Ānuenue, and find out about classes offered through the school.