HWST 130: Hula ‘Ōlapa: Traditional Hawaiian Dance

Credits 3 Lab Hours 2 Lecture Hours 2

In this class students will learn various beginning traditional hula interpretations. Students will be taught the basic footwork and hand gestures of traditional hula accompanied by chanting, Ipu Heke (double gourd) or Pahu (drum). Students may also be required to make accompanying instruments like Ipu (smaller single gourd), Kala‘au (sticks), ‘Ili‘ili (stones), and Pū‘ili (split bamboo), and learn accompanying oli (chants) under the direction of the class Instructor. Students will be taught different historical aspects of specific hula, associated hula mythology, ali‘i (chiefly) genealogies, plants and place names.

Course Outcomes
  • Learn a basic understanding of the differences between traditional and more modern styles of hula including the significance of hula as part of Hawaiian culture in traditional times.
  • Learn the histories and mythologies behind the creation and performance of various hula.
  • Learn how to perform several hula in unison, and the relationship between movements with the significance of lyrical content in a mele or oli combined with the occasions for which one is dancing.
  • Learn how to prepare adornments for their specific hula.