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Archival image of hula dancers

Archival hula

Huli Aku, Huli Mai, a special hula (dance) and mele (music) event featuring a panel of well-respected practitioners from the community is presented on Thursday, April 28 at Leeward Community College. Performances by Leeward’s Ka Papa Hula Nei I (Instructor Lilinoe Lindsey) and Hawaiian Ensemble II (Instructor John Signor) open the event. The event is free and open to the public.

Maile Loo

Maile Loo

Perpetuating cultural values and traditions

Today, traditional practices such as mele and hula are experiencing a new kind of distortion to the ways in which they are perceived by the global community. Where the missionaries of the 19th century saw hula as a “lascivious” practice, the global community today sees hula and other traditional Hawaiian practices as commodities. The tourism industry sells hula, mele, ʻaha ʻāina (lūʻau), hana lei (lei making) and other practices as parts of the easy-going, aloha-spirit-filled, island lifestyle. This results in a significant disconnect between what others perceive to be “Hawaiian” and the strong, proud culture that their kūpuna have established.

As part of Huli Aku, Huli Mai, live performances of hula and mele are interwoven with archival footage from the 1970s and 1980s. Cultural practitioners featured in the films, serve as panelists, including Maile Loo, hānai daughter of the late Kumu Hula Nona Beamer, and Jonathan Osorio, a historian, composer and musician who has been performing since 1975. Panelists will share how they have been able to perpetuate cultural values and traditions and make meaningful connections with traditional storytelling practices.

Historic footage of mele and hula serves as the foundation of the commentary and presentations. Library and archival resources are incorporated into the event to demonstrate their value and to increase access to and use of these repositories by the Native Hawaiian community.

Event information

Leeward Community College presents Huli Aku, Huli Mai on Thursday, April 28 at 12:45 p.m. in ED 301. The event is free and open to the public.

This event is presented by Leeward CC Library and sponsored in part by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

Participating groups and organizations include

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