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Hula, art and history

“Nana I Na Loea Hula (Look to the Hula Resources – Volume II)” is both stunningly visual and quite a rare vital cultural resource! It is a very special book created by Kalihi-Palama Culture and Arts Society to document and identify present-day hula exponents in order to provide a comprehensive hula resource for cultural and educational purposes.

Accompanied by eloquent black and white images of each Kumu Hula portrayed within the context of their rich indigenous culture by renowned photographer Shuzo Uemoto, “Look to the Hula Resources” contains 57 interviews with these living treasures of Hawaii. These practitioners of hula, from all over the islands, are presented as recipients of an art form with roots reaching back to the ancient origins of Hawaii.

These contemporary artists are committed to preserving their art form through future generations. Each Kumu Hula tells of their history and their involvement in the continuation of the hula tradition in their own unique style. Some speak of how they were first introduced to the art of hula while others share the philosophy of hula and why it is necessary and still vital in preserving the values of Hawaii.

Some of their stories are humorous, while others are very touching, but what we found the most rewarding was to see the passion, hard work, and dedication that each one of them put into their art for decades.

Even some of Kauai’s own are featured, such as Leilani Rivera Bond, Oddetta Kaohikukapulani Kinimaka-Alquiza, Beverly Healani Sun Lan Apana Muraoka, and Pohaku Nishimitsu. Getting this in our bookstore is a real treat for us! So many people have shared stories of their own Kumu Hulas in this book and have been so happy to find this extraordinary treasure of a book!

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Ed and Cynthia Justus are owners of The Bookstore in Hanapepe.

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