HWST 130: Hula ‘Ōlapa: Traditional Hawaiian Dance (3 credits)

Course Description

In this class students will learn various beginning traditional hula interpretations. Students will be taught the basic footwork and hand gestures of traditional hula accompanied by chanting, Ipu Heke (double gourd) or Pahu (drum). Students may also be required to make accompanying instruments like Ipu (smaller single gourd), Kala‘au (sticks), ‘Ili‘ili (stones), and Pū‘ili (split bamboo), and learn accompanying oli (chants) under the direction of the class Instructor. Students will be taught different historical aspects of specific hula, associated hula mythology, ali‘i (chiefly) genealogies, plants and place names. (2 hours lecture, 2 hours laboratory)

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to:

  • Learn a basic understanding of the differences between traditional and more modern styles of hula including the significance of hula as part of Hawaiian culture in traditional times.
  • Learn the histories and mythologies behind the creation and performance of various hula.
  • Learn how to perform several hula in unison, and the relationship between movements with the significance of lyrical content in a mele or oli combined with the occasions for which one is dancing.
  • Learn how to prepare adornments for their specific hula.

Degrees and Certificates

For transfer information within the UH system, visit the System Transfer page


Classes Offered