1. Hālau hula must be invited to participate in the Merrie Monarch Hula
Festival. In turn, kumu hula (master teachers) select their best dancers to
represent the group. It is the highest honor to dance in and win a trophy
at the competition.
2. Kamele Collier Marquez, interviewed by the author, 14 July 2007.
Kamele’s professional positions in hula included dancing and
choreographing for Tihati Productions, a Polynesian dance company, and
“John Hirokawa’s Magic of Polynesia,” a Las Vegas–like show in Waikīkī
featuring an illusionist. She also performed as a hula soloist at the Kahala
Mandarin Hotel (now the Kahala Hotel and Resort).
3. The nomenclature “hula sister” and “hula brother” refer to fictive kin,
dancers taught by the same kumu hula in the same hālau.
4. The hālau also dances in the exhibition portion of the Hula Ho‘olauna
Aloha, a hula competition held in Honolulu for Japanese hālau and judged
by Hawaiian kumu. One of its principal sponsors is jAlpAk, a division of
Japan Airlines that sells overseas package tours. The company wishes to
encourage more travel to Hawai‘i through “cultural exchange.” See Eloise
Aguiar, “Japan Hooked on Hula and the ‘Ukulele,” Honolulu Advertiser,
11 July 2005.
5. In my use, “Native Hawaiian” and “islander” are distinct and not
interchangeable terms. “Native Hawaiian” and “Hawaiian” refers to
the indigenous people of the Hawaiian archipelago, not residents of
Hawai‘i. Instead, I use “islander” to refer to someone from the Hawaiian
Islands, regardless of ethnic or indigenous background. Thus the term
“islander” includes Hawaiians, Japanese, Filipinos, Chinese, even haole
(Caucasians) hailing from the islands.
6. Hawaiian men also perform hula, but women practitioners and teachers
far outnumber men for reasons I discuss throughout the book.