Hula is a dance associated by Hawaii. Everyone knows what is hula but very few people know its origin, not even the Hawaiians. No one knows exactly who performed hula for the first time and what the purpose was. However, one thing is sure that some god or goddess performed hula which makes it sacred to Hawaiians. Information is that only men use to participate in hula but women also started performing Hula because it's considered sacred.
Hula is a type of Polynesian dance. However it's very different from other dances in the same category. Earlier hula was only performed for rituals and in ceremonies, but now it's also dome for entertainment.
Hula is performed in synch and all individuals performing the hula consider themselves as one. It's a meaningful dance and every stance represents something. While performing hula, individuals may intimate any object such as tree, wars, animals etc. More important is the story which is narrated with the dance.
Chants also accompany dance. However now the dance is more dedicated towards entertainment. Earlier the dance used to focus on rituals, but both ancient and modern versions of hula are great. Hula is also accompanied with songs. Songs are usually popular music and are sung by a lead voice singer in a major scale. Subject of song is related to the dance and matches the theme of hula. Mostly a male sings the song.
Hula dancers wear a costume to perform the hula dance. Costume has leis made of flowers. A grass skirt is also used with anklets made of dog teeth or whale bone. Earlier dancers were not allowed to eat forbidden items. They used to live a hard life. So, individuals performing hula were respected.
Today there are two types of hula, hula kahiko and hula auana. Hula lahiko is more traditional and old style of dancing. Hula auana is more modern style of dancing which is used for entertainment and has more entertaining costumes and hand movements. This dance is focused on the tourists and is made simper so tourists can easily understand it.
Hula was on verge of extinction because missionaries in Hawaii did not like the dance. They spread rumors that hula is against god and is devilish. However, King Kalalua made his own team of individuals are encouraged them to practice hula. Fortunately hula did not disappear and even today there are many students who are learning ancient hula.
There are many schools and individuals who are training other dancers in ancient hula. It remains an important part of Hawaii culture. Many are getting attracted to this meaningful dance and show interest in learning how to hula dance. Hula when taught in schools is called ha¯lau. The teacher teaching hula is called kumu hula. Kumu means person who gives knowledge.
Whenever you visit Hawaii, you'll see a lot of people performing hula and both old and new style. New form of hula is more entertaining and tourists enjoy it a lot. However there are many people who visit Hawaii to see just the ancient hula dance.