Hula on Maui: A Study in Connection & Communication

Hula on Maui: A Study in Connection & Communication

  • Amber Lee
  • 04/19/22

King Kalakaua once said “Hula is the language of the heart. Therefore the heartbeat of the Hawaiian people.“

And my study of the heart’s language began before I even moved to Hawai’i, while I was still living in Santa Cruz, CA. After moving to Maui in 2000, I continued my studies, even performing at each Hula Bowl Maui from 2001 through 2005, as well as at many other venues throughout the Valley Isle.

While it’s an honor to be part of these performances, hula is much more than entertainment. In Hawaiian culture, hula represents something much deeper. 

Hula is a cultural practice that connects both the dancer and the audience to stories that Hawaiian ancestral knowledge is built on. From halau (hula school) to halau, the kumu hula (hula teacher) instills in her students an understanding of how hula brings to life genealogy, history, prophecy, and the stories of those who came before.

Experiencing Hula

Taking place this week, the annual Merrie Monarch Festival is often the first event that comes to mind when someone mentions hula performances. While this week-long cultural event on Hawai’i Island is undoubtedly the biggest stage for hula across the globe, you don’t have to go all the way to the Big Island to experience the cultural celebration of hula (although if you are attending, be sure to check out Haunani and `Iliahi Paredes, Nā Kumu Hula of Hālau Kekuaokalā`au`ala`iliahi of Wailuku, Maui). 

You can experience hula across Maui at events, festivals, and live performances at parks, hotels, and resorts. For a more immersive and educational cultural experience, consider attending a luau in West Maui or South Maui. You can even study hula as a haumana (student) in a halau hula under the direction of a kumu hula. 

Lessons in Connection & Communication 

As a haumana, we study the Hawaiian language, the culture, and oli (chants) and quickly realize that hula is more than a dance. Hula teaches us about Hawaii’s rich history while helping us stay active and healthy.

I studied hula here on Maui from 2000 to 2018 (currently on hiatus). And being a haumana hula has immersed me in Hawaiian culture and enhanced my life, personally and professionally.

Hula is a network, as well as a way to connect with the past and with others in a way that is woven into the fabric of our community. It’s a beautiful, animated interpretation of Hawaii’s history and culture. And it’s expanded my understanding of Wailea, Maui, and all the Hawaiian Islands as a community and connected me to so many wonderful people right here where I live. 

Hula is language, and as such, it’s enhanced my communication skills in all areas of my life. It’s made me an even better listener, which is especially important when it comes to understanding my clients’ goals. 

Here to Serve You with Aloha

What are your real estate goals? I’m here to lend an ear if you want to discuss them! Or perhaps you’re interested in more information about hula on Maui, or just life in the Wailea area. If that’s the case, please don’t hesitate to contact me !


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