Designates hula as the official dance of the State.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES                H.B. NO.           
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT



 1      SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that hula has significant
 2 historical and cultural importance to Hawaii.  The first written
 3 account of a hula performance dates back to the eighteenth
 4 century on the island of Kauai.  Other hula performances were
 5 also documented on the Kona coast at Kealakekua Bay, and on Oahu
 6 at Waimea Bay, although there were numerous other undocumented
 7 hula performances during that time.  Hula later experienced a
 8 decline from 1830 to 1870 when Queen Kaahumanu, influenced by her
 9 Christian teachings that viewed hula as a "heathen practice",
10 forbade public hula performances.  However, despite the edict,
11 hula continued to be a major source of pleasure to the Hawaiians
12 as evidenced by the fact that clandestine hula schools operated
13 on all the islands and that people were irresistibly drawn to
14 hula performances.  It was not until King David Kalakaua's reign
15 that the ban on public hula performances was lifted, at which
16 time hula gained widespread acceptance and flourished at both
17 official and unofficial functions.
18      In the early 1900s, hula became a feature at carnivals and
19 pageants, endearing itself as the standard entertainment to the

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                                     H.B. NO.           

 1 growing tourist trade.  Due to the audience's lack of knowledge
 2 in the Hawaiian language, hula became a style of dancing in which
 3 the gesture became the important feature instead of being a dance
 4 form to portray a cultural story.  As such, the non-traditional
 5 hula dancer became the image of Hawaii in the visitor's eye.
 6      The legislature recognizes that in the last thirty years,
 7 the Hawaiian renaissance sparked a newfound interest in
 8 traditional hula.  This has led to the birth of numerous hula
 9 festivals in Hawaii and around the world, including the Merrie
10 Monarch Hula Festival (Hawaii), Queen Liliuokalani Keiki Hula
11 Competition (Oahu), Ka La Hula I Orlando (Florida), Hula Festival
12 of Tokyo (Japan), and Ka Leo O Na Hula Seminario (Mexico), to
13 name a few.  Hula's recent worldwide acceptance can be attributed
14 in part to the fact that people appreciate the significant role
15 that hula plays in perpetuating the Hawaiian culture.
16      In the words of the Merrie Monarch Hula Festival, "hula is
17 the language of the heart, and therefore the heartbeat of the
18 Hawaiian people".  Hula conveys genealogies, legends of Hawaiian
19 gods and goddesses, feelings, experiences, and anything someone
20 feels strongly about.  However, more importantly, there is no
21 "true" version of a dance, for when it comes to hula, the stories
22 are true to the hula dancer as influenced by his or her
23 environment and experiences.  As such, hula is an important tool

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                                     H.B. NO.           

 1 to teach the history, values, and philosophies of the Hawaiian
 2 culture.
 3      The purpose of this Act is to bestow formal recognition on
 4 hula as a special livelihood with deep cultural roots in Hawaii
 5 by designating it as the official state dance.
 6      SECTION 2.  Chapter 5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended
 7 by adding a new section to be appropriately designated to read as
 8 follows:
 9      "5-     State dance.  Hula is adopted, established, and
10 designated as the official dance of the State, to be effective
11 for as long as the legislature of the State does not otherwise
12 provide."
13      SECTION 3.  New statutory material is underscored.
14      SECTION 4.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
16                           INTRODUCED BY:  _______________________