Merrie Monarch Festival, via Great Big Storyʻs “The Grit and Grace of Hula”
Vacationers may arrive to the islands with a certain idea of hula and what it looks like. However, if you are willing to look beyond the iconic coconut bikini and grass skirt, you will be richly rewarded. Traditionally, hula was practiced to perpetuate the stories and express the spirituality of the Hawaiian people. The chants and the dances are, themselves, a living oral history of the land, the gods and the people.
As a particularly vivid glimpse into the depth and beauty of this practice (which goes far beyond dance), we’re sharing a superb video from Great Big Story. It’s an insightful profile of a hālau and a solo dancer as they prepare for the Merrie Monarch Festival, a week-long festival in Hilo, Hawaiʻi. The festival centers around the most prestigious hula competition in the world, and each unique performance is astounding for the artistry, power, significance and beauty. Enjoy!