All photos © Shawn Kahoʻolemana Naone and are used here by permission of the artist.
Photos from Hula, the Heartbeat of the Hawaiian People
1. Ikaika – Strength. This photo was taken at the ʻAha Kāne Poalima 2012 conference. The goal of ‘Aha Kane is to address the issues of Native Hawaiian male leadership and community involvement by focusing on the cultural history and the roles of Native Hawaiian men in the past, present and future.
2. Neʻepapa – Move in unison. One of several of this series taken in the 7th Annual Lanikahonua Hula Festival in 2012. Established by the late Kumu Hula O’Brian Eselu, the festivalʻs goal is “to inspire this generation and generations to come, (and) to ignite and excite students to preserve hula, language and na mea Hawai’i (things Hawaiian).” That year’s hula festival was dedicated to Kumu O’Brian Eselu, who passed away in April 2012.
3. Mana – Power. A self-portrait of the photographer, Shawn Kahoʻolemana Naone, during a hula performance, Na Maka O Puʻuwai Aloha Hoʻike 2012
4. Pūpūkahi i holomua – Move forward together. Taken in the 7th Annual Lanikahonua Hula Festival.
5. Leʻaleʻa – Joy. Kumu Hula Coline Aiu of Hālau Hula O Maiki, taken in the 7th Annual Lanikahonua Hula Festival. Kahoʻolemana says this photo recalls the ʻōlelo noʻeau, “He mai’a ua pa’a i ke ko’o. A banana tree well supported by it’s props. This was said in observation of a good leader, the one who inspires the follower to bring out his or her best and define a true reality and take that person where he or she could never have gone alone.”
6. I ka wa mamua, ka wa mahope – The future is in the past. Hawaiians believe in preserving traditions which define us as a people, and hula is one of these traditions.
7. Kūʻē – Protest. Hula often shows up at protest rallies, like Kuʻi at the Capitol, held at the State Capitol in Honolulu in 2013. This march and rally was in opposition of the short lived Public Land Development Corporation and the of GMO foods and companies like Monsanto who, many believe, act against the Hawaiian people and their cultural practices.
8. Mahele – Share. Kahoʻolemana writers: “This here is the real “great mahele.” Mahele means to share, a sharing of our culture, to perpetuate and pass down tradition, culture, art, and beauty. Hula how it was meant to be danced, to tell a story, not to entertain the malihini.”
9. Hōʻulīʻulī – Shake the rattle. From the Lanikahohua Festival, the dancers use ʻulīʻulī hula implements.
10. Kaholo – Flow. Captures the haumāna (the students) at practice. Besides meaning “to flow,” kaholo is also a hula motion.
11. Hula ʻiliʻili – Hula using water-worn pebbles. From the Lanikahunoa Festival.
12. Moemoe aku i mua – Move ahead with determination. Taken at the ʻAha Kāne conference.
13. Nani e makahehi ʻia ai – Beautiful and alluring. These professional hula dancers perform at Paradise Cove Luʻau show (August 2013)
14. Puwalu – All together. This photo is special as the students follow their kumu hula in practice.
15. Hoʻoheno – Caress. Hula at a public celebration, here in honor of Queen Liliʻuokalaniʻs 174th birthday, ʻIolani Palace, Honolulu, 2012.
16. I mua e nā ʻōpio – Forward, youth. At the Kuʻi at the Capitol rally, the ʻōpio of Hakipuʻu Learning Center performing a hula.
17. E Hoʻokanaka ʻoukou, ʻaʻole e hoʻonāwaliwali ko ʻoukou noʻonoʻo manaʻo – Be strong; let your mind not be weak. Kāne performing at the ʻAha Kāne.
18. Nānā i ke kumu – Look to the source. Hokulani DeRego, kumu of Hālau Hula ʻO Hokulani, teaches her students at the Lanikahonua Festival
19. Kuhi no ka lima, hele no ka maka – Where the hands move, the eyes follow. A basic rule in hula.
20. ʻAʻa i ka hula, waiho ka hilahila i ka hale – if (you) want to dance the hula, leave your bashfulness at home. And then go for it!
Mahalo: ʻōlelo noʻeau collected by Mary Kawena Pūkuʻi and the Kamehameha Schools