Willson Stamper | Portrait of Edith Kanakaʻole (1980)
Aunty Edith Kanakaʻole (1913 - 1979) was born in Honomu, Hawaiʻi. Fluent in Hawaiian and English, she became a Hawaiiana instructor at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo and wrote the history of the Hawaiian renaissance in her native tongue. Under her training, many within her family and hundreds of students learned hula and chant. More than a dozen of her descendants have become distinguished Hawaiian language and culture educators.
THIS is what true hula is: sacrifice, dedication, and love. THIS is why I will not tolerate anyone who jokes about, mocks, makes fun, or makes light of hula dancers - we are athletes, whether we enter competitions or not. Every hula dancer perpetuates the richness of the Hawaiian culture and everyone is more than welcome to support and appreciate this amazing tradition, learn from it, and help continue this large aspect of Hawaiian culture with respect and compassion.