One is Echoes of the Islands, which is under the direction of Kita Austin but has no website. I have tried contacting Kumu Kita and am awaiting a reply. If anyone has any information on this halau or dance troupe, please give me a lead!
The other halau is Hula Halau ‘O Lilinoe which is under the direction of Kumu Sissy Kaio. Recently, the halau competed in E Hula Mau in Long Beach and won many awards. According to their entry on the HICCSC website,
“Besides teaching our haumana hula we have also given them the opportunity to learn from masters from Hawai’i. Our haumana have had workshops with the masters in the areas language, arts & crafts, hula implement making, lei making, lauhala weaving, kapa beating and dying and of course hula. What we strive to teach our haumana is that hula is a way of life. It was a way that our ancestors communicated not only with each other but also with their gods and aumakua. We have had the honor of sharing our hula & culture with different world dignitaries, celebrities, athletes, as well as our own community.”
Halau ‘o Lilinoe has also recently created a website, which they hope will “host a myriad of contents, such as: Literature, audio, class schedules, event schedules, a gallery and much more”. Currently, the site lists class schedules, event schedules, a picture gallery, and halau rules as well as other miscellaneous information.
Commentary: What I appreciate about Hula Halau ‘o Lilinoe is their dedication to the preservation of the art. Their website has an ‘Olelo No’eau on every page with translation, promoting use of the Hawaiian language. Additionally, the Halau rules and regulations are fairly strict, forcing haumana to take the art of Hula seriously, forcing them to become dedicated. Many say that Hula is a way of life, and thanks to halaus like this one, it really is. As mentioned in the previous post regarding practice attire, Aunty Sissy requires all of her haumana to wear a pa’u and matching t-shirts. Another portion of the site I really like is entitled, “So You Want To Study Hula?” and allows an individual interested in hula to seriously consider the type of halau they will be joining and the level of commitment necessary. The topics discussed in this portion are:
- The hula is a way of life to which many students and teachers dedicate their lives
- Prospective students should consider what level of commitment they wish to make
- Hula Halau function as a family
- Not all knowledge is contained in only one school.
- Not all teachers of hula have achieved comparable mastery of hula
- A kumu hula is a foundation for hula