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The Hālau Hula: Its linguistic richness documented, analyzed, and revived

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Title: The Hālau Hula: Its linguistic richness documented, analyzed, and revived
Issue Date: 12 Mar 2015
Description: The hālau hula, the traditional Hawaiian hula teaching institution, has endured through several periods of language and culture erosion. It remains today a powerful source for revitalizing the Hawaiian language, non-verbal Hawaiian communication, and traditional Hawaiian thought. This presentation will focus on how the linguistic richness of the hālau hula has served as a base for broader Hawaiian language and culture revitalization. After reviewing documentation and academic study of that documentation, I will focus on current application of that knowledge in language revitalization at Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language and my personal role in that work.

Over several generations, Hawaiians and others have documented aspects of the hālau hula, its traditions, and the language used in those traditions as well as change within it. Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian has taken that documentation and integrated it into a series of upper division courses taught through Hawaiian that form the ala ʻike pāhiahia or performing arts emphasis within the Kēkelē Laepua o ka Haʻawina Hawaiʻi, Hawaiian Studies Bachelor’s Degree, of which I am a core faculty member. A more recent movement has been to integrate aspects of the formal language of the hālau hula, the traditions used in it, and the thinking behind those traditions into the community life of young revitalized Hawaiian speakers. Such movement outside the classroom includes newly developed boundary marking rituals, community integration rituals, and knowledge grade rituals within Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani and its programs. Using familiarity with those adopted rituals as an entry point, my wife and I have also begun to establish the first fully Hawaiian speaking hālau hula in the present century.

I will describe the above described progression from the perspective of a researcher and documenter of hālau hula language and traditions, of a professor responsible for the teaching of the academic discipline of the ala ʻike pāhiahia, of a college committee chair responsible for program rituals, and of a Hawaiian speaking community member involved in reestablishing the first fully Hawaiian speaking hālau hula for young products of Hawaiian language immersion education.
Rights: Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
Appears in Collections:4th International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation (ICLDC)

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