A hula hālau practices on a Maui beach to the beat of drums, honing their dance and story-telling.
Hula is an important part of Hawaiian culture, helping tell the story of the Hawaii people, their history, and their legends. Hula is said to have been created by either the goddess Laka, Hi’iaka, or Pele. It has been performed for centuries by Hawaiians and throughout Polynesia in various forms.
In the 1820’s hula was banned by the ruling class at the urging of newly-arrived Christian missionaries for the dance’s suggestive movements. Under King David Kalakaua’s reign (1874–1891), hula was brought back to life and re-instituted into everyday life. Since then hula has grown and today is celebrated in local communities, throughout the islands, and even across the world.