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A great resource for students of traditional Hawaiian dance, this beautiful handbook filled with archival photographs covers the origins, language, etiquette, ceremonies, and the spiritual culture of hula. Hula, the indigenous dance of Hawai'i, preserves significant aspects of Native Hawaiian culture with strong ties to health and spirituality. Kumu Hula, persons who are culturally recognized hula experts and educators, maintain and share this cultural tradition, conveying Hawaiian history and spiritual beliefs in this unique form of cultural and creative expression, comprising specific controlled rhythmic movements that enhance the meaning and poetry of the accompanying songs.
Emphasizing the importance of cultural literacy, the Handbook begins with an overview of the origins of hula, its history in Hawai'i, and the primacy of the spiritual focus of the dance. The book goes on to introduce halau etiquette and practices, and explains the format of a traditional hula presentation, together with the genres of hula and the regalia worn by the dancers. Practical components include sections on Hawaiian language and chant and a glossary of hula commands and footwork.
Author Mahealani Uchiyama trained in Hawaii in the hula lineage of Joseph Kamoha'i Kaha'ulelio and is currently the Kumu Hula at the Halau Ku Ua Tuahine in Berkeley, California. As the founder and artistic director of the Center for International Dance and board member of Dance Arts West, the producers of San Francisco's annual Ethnic Dance Festival, Uchiyama's approach to hula is deeply holistic and reflects her background in indigenous wisdom traditions and cultural exchange and interaction.
About the Author
Most recently performing in July 2015 at the Hollywood Bowl with the LA Philharmonic, Mahealani Uchiyama is an award-winning dancer, musician, composer, choreographer, recording artist, and teacher. An advocate for cross-cultural understanding, she is the founder and artistic director of the Mahea Uchiyama Center for International Dance in Berkeley, California, and is Kumu Hula (master teacher) of Halau Ka Ua Tuahine. She has led numerous performance tours to Tahiti, New Zealand, and the islands of Hawai'i, and taught workshops intenationally. She has been an instructor of Hawaiian language at Stanford University and also serves as president of the board of World Arts West, the producers of the annual San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival.
“I have always respected Mahealani Uchiyama’s tenacity, dedication, devotion, and talent for encompassing other cultures and dances. In my opinion, she has always been diligent in her research of all cultural dance/art/costuming, which require cultural authenticity and originality. I am proud to call such an outstanding and upstanding individual my associate and friend.” —from the foreword by Naomi Leinaʻala Kalama, Loʻea Hula
"Here is a book that gives a bit of insight on all aspects of hula. The Haumāna Handbook For The Student Of Hawaiian Dance is a perfect place to start." —Kawika Alfiche, Kumu Hula, Hālau ʻO Keikialiʻi
"This tightly written handbook captures the universe of the hula, and is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand why the hula is 'the heartbeat of the Hawaiian people.'" —Betty Ann Bruno, director, Hula Mai
"An absolute must-have for anyone studying the dance, cultural arts or history of Hawai’i." —Lani Cid-Iulio, Kumu Hula, Hālau Makana
"A wealth of knowledge graciously shared to perpetuate traditions, ceremony and the ongoing life of hula—a must for all serious students learning under the guidance of a kumu hula." —Rick Noʻeau Smith, Kumu Hula, Nā Mamo Noʻeau