Noho Ana Ke Akua I Ka Nāhelehele

Date
2014
Authors
Blair-Stahn, Chai Grahame Kaiaka
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The Hula Practitioner As Environmental Steward
Noho Ana Ke Akua I Ka Nahelehele : The Hula Practitioner As Environmental Steward
Abstract
The Hawaiian chant Noho Ana Ke Akua I Ka Nāhelehele describes hula practitioners as kahu, or stewards, of Laka, the principle Hawaiian hula deity who may be perceived of as the natural environment. This customary role is problematized by features of contemporary life that degrade the natural environment. The practice, performance, and perpetuation of hula are all at stake, as nature is the primary source of inspiration, emulation, and resources for hula practitioners. Potential solutions to some environmental issues are presented as re-solutions based upon customary hula practices. These suggestions were derived through an interdisciplinary investigation featuring ethnographic, narrative, linguistic, and scientific analyses.

The methodology for this investigation was rooted in Hawaiian concepts and values of Nihi ka hele – treading lightly, Nānā i ke kumu – looking to the source, and Maka hana ka ‘ike – knowing through doing. While drawing upon published sources and interviews with cultural practitioners, the investigation also drew upon the personal experiences of a non-Kanaka Maoli (non-Native Hawaiian) hula practitioner.

This portfolio is organized as two separate but interrelated mahele or divisions. Mahele One comprises the major written component. Mahele Two includes separate Lau, or leaves -interview transcripts, a glossary of terms, calculations, and tables of supporting information.
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natural environment, Laka, kahu, hula practitioner, hula, Environmental management, environmental issues
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362 pages
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