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Photo of young hula dancers performing on the grass
Students from the Na Pualei o Likolehua hula school, taught by Leina 'ala Kalama Heine - July 17, 1999

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Prince Lot Hula Festival
A Local Legacy

Did you know that you can tell stories with a dance? That's what the kids in the photo are doing when they do the hula, a traditional dance of Hawaii. The hula combines flowing movement with facial expressions, all set to special chants and music. When hula began it was a form of worship.

Prince Lot Kapu`aiwa kept the hula alive in Hawaii at a time when interest in it was fading. Can you guess how he did it? The prince, who later became Kamehameha V, King of Hawaii from 1863 to 1872, was noted for his energy and strength of will. One of his interests was to promote and preserve Hawaiian culture, especially the hula. He did this by holding hula performances at his cottage in Moanalua. To many, the hula represents Hawaiians' view of the world.

In appreciation of Prince Lot's efforts to preserve Hawaiian culture, the Prince Lot Hula Festival was established in 1978. Each year na halau (hula schools) come to the festival to perform at Moanalua Gardens in Honolulu. This festival also includes other Hawaiian activities and exhibits such as hand-stitched quilts, leaf-weaving demonstrations to make hats and baskets, instrument-making and lei-making (a lei is a necklace of flowers).

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