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Hula Kahiko At Volcanoes National Park

April 16, 2012, 11:53 PM HST
* Updated September 14, 10:38 AM
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Though the Merrie Monarch Festival has ended for this year, there’s still a place where audiences can enjoy hula in the traditional style (kahiko) in gorgeous surrounds. At the Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park on April 21, Halau Hula Ka Noʻeau, with kumu hula Michael Pili Pang, will perform traditional hula and chant at a free event from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Traditional style of hula, or kahiko, is an ancient form of hula that was practiced pre-Western contact. This hula has very specific and detailed protocol and rules to follow. Musical accompaniment is created with traditional instruments such as, but not limited to, the gourd drum called an ipu, double gourd drum called an ipu heke, sharkskin drums called pahu, and ‘ili ‘ili, or water-worn stones.  Instruments such as the guitar, ‘ukulele and bass, are only seen with hula performances in the hula ʻauana style, or modern dance.

The site for this event has a raw beauty, which lends itself perfectly to the storytelling and dramatic art of hula. Hula Kahiko in this open environment makes for a powerful experience.

There will also be Hawaiian cultural demonstrations from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at the Volcano Art Center Gallery porch. While the event is free, donations are welcomed and park fees apply.

The hula platform used for this event is not in a covered area. The audience is encouraged to bring necessary gear for rain or sun. People may also bring comfortable seating, mats and cushions to this performance.


The Volcano Art Center Gallery is located within the Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park at 19-4074 Old Volcano Road.

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