Dr. Ishmael Stagner, “Uncle Ish,” is counted among a revered segment of island society known through the ages as po‘e Hula—ardent keepers of Hawai‘i’s dance traditions. The son of a Kumu Hula, he spent a lifetime meeting with, and learning from, k?puna. N? Hulu K?puna O Hula, penned in his own hand, and his last scholarly work, generously offers a glimpse into the sometimes veiled world of Hula through a keen yet “old school” lens. His personal reflections of Hula masters, chanters, dances, and composers, both past and present, offering insight into the spiritual side of Hawai‘i’s national dance, reminding us of Hula’s sacredness.
N? Hulu K?puna O Hula is also a reminder that Hawaiian traditions, especially those of Hula are sometimes shared selectively, and require much time, patience, commitment and respect to learn and appreciate.
For those just learning about Hula, here is an understanding of its non-visual and physical aspects.
Author: Dr. Ishmael Worth Stagner II