June 23, 2015 at 9:55 pm · Nate Porter
We enjoyed a wonderful week, Hawaiian style! Here’s a fun recap of our week and some background information about Luaus & Hula!
Some of our activities:
- Hawaiian Hula
- Hawaiian Luau Luncheon
- Hawaiian Happy Hour: Tropical Floats
- Hawaiian Lei Making
- Hawaiian Flower Round-up
- Williamsburg Travels Around the World: Hawaii
- Hawaiian Key Lime Pineapple Cupcake
Ever wonder about the history of the Luau?
In ancient Hawaii, men and woman ate their meals apart. Commoners and women of all ranks were also forbidden by the ancient Hawaiian religion to eat certain delicacies. This all changed in 1819, when King Kamehameha II abolished the traditional religious practices. A feast where the King ate with women was the symbolic act which ended the Hawaiian religious tabus, and the luau was born.
The favorite dish at these feasts is what gave the luau its name. Young and tender leaves of the taro plant were combined with chicken, baked in coconut milk and called luau.
The traditional luau feast was eaten on the floor. Lauhala mats were rolled out and a beautiful centerpiece made of ti leaves, ferns and native flowers about three feet wide was laid the length of the mat. Bowls filled with poi, a staple of the Hawaiian diet made from pounded taro root, and platters of meat were set out and dry foods like sweet potatoes, salt, dried fish or meat covered in leaves were laid directly on the clean ti leaves. Of course in a traditional Luau, the party goers use NO utensils!
Now days the Luau is still a huge part of the Hawaiian culture, and although it differs from ancient times, there is one main component, Having FUN with family and friends!!
Making Hawaiian Leis
Hawaiian Luau Luncheon
We got so busy having fun, we forgot to get more pictures of everyone dressed up Hawaiian Style!
Fun Hawaiian Treats!
We also learned to Hula!
Hula dancing is the traditional art of movement, smooth bodily gestures and vocals. You may notice that Hula Dancing seems to have an incredibly smooth “flow” and the movements are extremely fluid. These movements are said to actually tell a story or represent movements of nature such as trees blowing in the wind or fish swimming smoothly in the ocean.
The Hawaiian goddess Laka seperated her Hula Dancers into two groups…
Olapa (Agile ones) – This group represented the younger generation of dances with more energy.
Ho’o-paa (Steadfast ones) – This group represented the elders which sang and played musical instruments.
What most people don’t know about Hula Dancing is that all hula dances originate from a seriesof only six traditional moves. Of course, there are a wide variety of interpretations and different ways of using these base movements to create unique and beautiful performances.
Traditionally, you will find both men and women wearing knee level skirts made of palm leaves as well as flower leis around their arms, lower legs and heads. However, prior to 1820, women wore skirts that were much shorter and men simply wore loin clothes. It was in 1820 that missionaries made them wear a less revealing wardrobe during their performances.
You can HULA too!
Basic Hula Steps
‘Ami: Right – rotate hips counterclockwise, one rotation for each count. Left – rotate hips clockwise. Bent knees make the ‘ami easier.
Hela: Point right foot forward, bring back, then point left foot forward, then bring back.
Huli: Rotate around while swaying the hips
Kaholo: A kaholo is more of a sliding step, rather than lifting the foot as you move. It is used to step side to side, front to back, and diagonally.
Ka’o: Sway hips by shifting weight to the right side and lift left heel. Then shift weight to the left side and lift right heel.
Lele: Step right, then left, either forward or back.
Love Hand Movement: Hands cross at chest to show embracing love
Ocean Hand Movement: hands gently beat up and down showing the rhythm of the waves.
Rainbow Hand Movement: palms of the hands meet at the left… right hand lifts and shapes an arching rainbow
Rising Sun Hand Movement: start at the knees, both hands part and rise above the head to shape the sun
Singing or Story Telling Hand Movement: hand gracefully gesturing at mouth for song
Swaying Palms Hand Movement: left arm becomes the land, right arm and fingers sway showing a waving palm.
Swirling Winds Hand Movement: left hand forward while right hand circles twice over head
Tide roll Hand Movement: hands continually roll over each other to show the rolling sea
WE HOPE YOUR SUMMER IS FILLED WITH FUN, FAMILY AND FRIENDS!
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