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Hula and Mele: Hula

A guide to library and web resources about music, dance and performing arts in Hawai'i.

On this page...

image of hula dancers

This page provides resources on hula in Hawaiʻi:

Ask a Librarian for help finding more resources.

Web Resources

Here are some websites with more info and resources on hula:

Ulukau: The Hawaiian Electronic Library

This site has lots of books and curriculum resources on Hawaiian language and culture, including mele and hula. Try searching for "hula" or "mele" on the website or browse books by clicking on the "Nā Puke" (or "Books") tab and clicking on the filter options (e.g. Pae Hoʻomaka, Pae Waena, Pae Holomua, and Kumuʻike) to display the full list of books.


Kumukahi

A website featuring a bilingual, community-based approach to presenting living Hawaiian culture and its connections to a rich ancestral past. Explore more than 60 diverse topics— including mele, hula, and Laka —explained by cultural practitioners and community experts from across the pae ‘āina.


Waihona Mele: A Repository of Mele-Inspired Essays
Collection of essays for specific mele, their translation, description, and use. Essays written by Kihei de Silva and members of Halau Mohala Ilima.


Hula Preservation Society

HPS is a non-profit dedicated to documenting and sharing the amazing life stories of our eldest living Hula Masters and their efforts to perpetuate hula. HPS provides access to one-on-one oral histories with kūpuna and historic materials given to HPS by kūpuna and hālau themselves.


Merrie Monarch Festival website

The Merrie Monarch Festival is a non-profit organization that honors the legacy of King David Kalākaua, who inspired the perpetuation of our traditions, native language and arts. Their website provides general info about the festival, including past award winners.

Videos

Hawaiian Streaming Videos: Hawai'i/Pacific Videos

Streaming Videos from hula competitions and exhibitions, including Keiki Hula, Merrie Monarch, Kamehameha Hula, Prince Lot Hula. Once on the site, use the tabs at the top to navigate the various competitions and events.

Books on Hula

Plants and Hula

Various plants are used in lei and other hula adornments. Here is a selection of resources on Hawaiian plants.

Note: In the absence of a book all about the plants used in hula, it is recommended that you check books that discuss Hawaiian plants generally. Such books may have a chapter on hula plants or it may be the case that in discussing a particular plant, they include a paragraph or even just a single sentence about how that plant is used by hula practitioners.