The Royal Court of Hawaii

There has been a lot of excitement around the world of hula in the past 20 plus years. It’s always been a part of Hawaii’s Culture, but people around the world have taken hula and made it a central part of their lives and their communities. Hula, is Hawaii’s Ultimate Cultural Ambassador. With that being said, here’s a brief background on hula.

According to Hawaiian legend, the goddess of hula, Laka, brought to life the hula dancing on the island of Moloka’i. When Captain Cook made landfall in Hawai’i in 1779 Hawaiians had been dancing the hula for hundreds of years.

When Protestant missionaries came to Hawaii in 1820 they were surprised by the Indigenous Hawaiian’s open form of dancing and believed hula advertised old heathen beliefs.

Missionaries Preaching in Hawaii circa 1823

Missionaries Preaching in Hawaii circa 1823

The missionaries launched an initiative to eliminate hula in the islands and also were able to convince Queen Kaahumanu, wife of Kamehameha I, to have it banned in 1830.

Following Queen Kaahumanu’s death in 1832 some chiefs quit identifying the restriction on hula, and in 1834 Kamehameha III openly disobeyed the previous “kapu” (law), restricting the public performance of hula.

Beginning in 1851 public hula performances were controlled with a licensing system, with a hefty cost imposed for every performance.

During King Kalakaua’s reign hula was enjoyed in a public resurgence. Kalakaua stated, “Hula is the language of the heart and therefore the heartbeat of the Hawaiian people.” His coronation in 1883 and also his jubilee in 1886 both included hula performances.

In the 1890s and early 1900s, hula dancers and Hawaiian artists toured the United States Mainland. Generally, women, the professional dancers danced in their grass skirts with musicians playing kitschy Hawaiian tunes on their steel guitars and ukulele.

Hotel Lexington, New York

Hotel Lexington, New York


The Merrie Monarch Celebration started in Hilo, Hawaii in 1963 when Helene Hale, the chairman of the County of Hawai’i looked into new methods to draw in visitors to the island during an economic downturn.

Hula is Hawaii’s Cultural Ambassador

Hula Girls, an acclaimed Japanese film directed by Sang-il Lee struck Japanese theatres in 2006. Starring Yū Aoi, Yasuko Matsuyuki and also Etsushi Toyokawa. The film is based upon the real-life story of a group of ladies utilizing hula to conserve their small mining town, Iwaki. In 1965 the Joban coal mine in Iwaki Fukushima Prefecture was forced to downsize dramatically. During a crisis situation, people who work in coal mines is to confront the real anguish of losing a job.

From Hula Girls, Japanese Film

From Hula Girls, Japanese Film

An in 2008, members of a local hula dancing troupe, the “Obama Hula Girls” made headings as they helped the city of Obama, an angling port community in Japan, celebrate the election of President Barack Obama.


There’s Hundreds of halaus (Hawaiian dance schools) opened all over the world. Japan, Mexico, Germany, United States, Canada, French Polynesia and the Netherlands just to name a few. Aloha through hula has touched people around the world. Hula is definitely the ultimate cultural ambassador of the world.


The objective right here is to make certain Aloha is recognized as well as constantly shared via hula. The Aloha Spirit is a synergy of mind and also heart within each person. The Aloha chant speaks to this entirely. It is the hope of Hawai’i that hula is taught in this way~

Hula, Hawaii’s Ultimate Cultural Ambassador with Kumu Olana A’i,

Kumu Hula Shelsea Apana & Sandra Kilohana Silve.