Hula has a history in lua that is seldom heard of and by learning this and living it, we become more aware of who we are as Hawaiians.
Lifelong hula dancer Debbie Nâkânelua-Richards shares the history of hula and lua through her personal experiences.
Aloha kakahiaka kâkou. I kçia lâ, e launa aku kâkou me kçia ʻôlapa ʻo Debbie Nâkanelua-Richards a ʻike i kona moʻolelo i naʻauao mai ai ʻo ia no ka pili o ka hula i ka lua.
"Hula has been my life, its woven into the very fiber of my being." says Nâkânelua-Richards.
"Puni wau i ka hula."
And then 19 years ago, she took up lua, at the urging of her brother Kyle.
A laila, ma ka 19 makahiki aku nei, ua hoʻolauna ʻia ʻo Debbie i kekahi hana kuʻuna, ʻo ka lua, e kona kaikunâne ʻo Kyle Nakanelua.
"Somehow the idea of bone-breaking, spear throwing, men chasing after you, it wasn't that appealing at the time."
"ʻAʻole i ʻano hoihoi i ka manaʻo o ka haki iwi, kîloi ihe, a me ke alualu ʻia e nâ kâne."
She soon discovered however that the protocols and moves came naturally.
Ua ʻike koke nô naʻe ʻo Debbie i ke ʻano kamaʻâina nô hoʻi o nâ kiʻina hana me nâ loina o kçia hana kuʻuna.
One of the first commands we learn is ʻaihaʻa. Pretty soon the brain goes boom, I know what that is. It's this muscle memory.
ʻO ka ʻaihaʻa kekahi o ka mua i aʻo ʻia. A ua maʻa ke kino i ka hana.
"Traditionally, all students began in hula," says Kumu Hula Keone Nunes, Hâlau Kapuwailani'ônohinohi'ula.
I ka wâ ma mua (komo) nâ haumâna a pau i loko o ka hula.
Keone trained under Kumu Hula Darrel Lupenui, and learned the joint history of hula and lua from Darrel's mom, Muriel.
Ua aʻo ʻo Keone ma lalo o Kumu Hula Darrell Lupenui, a ua aʻo pû ʻo ia i ka môʻaukala e pili ai ka hula me lua mai ko Darrell makuahine, ʻo Muriel Lupenui.
"If you excelled at hula, you went on to lua."
"Inâ he maikaʻi nô hoʻi ʻoe i loko o ka hula, hiki ke hana i ka lua."
This all began to make sense to Debbie. Hula was no longer this feminine practice and lua its brut counterpart.
Wahi a Debbie, ua ʻano ʻâ mai ke kukui. Pau ia manaʻo ona no ke kaʻawale a ʻokoʻa ka hula, no nâ wahine kona ʻano a laila, ʻo ka lua, me kona ʻano kaua a kiʻina pepehi he mea kâne ia.
"While for some it may be complete opposite."
"No kekahi poʻe, he mau hoa ʻçkoʻa paha. Noʻu he pili a he mau hoa kûlauna hoʻi.s but for me it coexists and it make my balance."
For stories like this and more, tune in to our half-hour episodes of ʻÂhaʻi ʻÔlelo Ola on Saturday at 2:30p.m. on KGMB.
No nâ ʻano moʻolelo hoihoi like ʻole no ko kâkou Hawaiʻi ʻana, e launa mai nô no ka pûkana piha o ʻÂhaʻi ʻÔlelo Ola ma ka 2.30 o nâ Poʻoana ma KGMB nô. Ke aloha.
Debbie Nakanelua-Richards, ʻolapa hula & lua, can/will speak to her hula and lua background and training as well as the similarities sheʻs noticed.