No Kākou, Na Kākou
Huamakahikina Kumu Hula Coalition
Fond greetings on behalf of Huamakahikina, an open advocacy-based coalition of Kumu Hula that represents a great range of cross-lineage participation and collaborative efforts. Huamakahikina initially convened on August 17, 2020, in an effort to discuss a culturally proactive approach to the COVID-19 pandemic in Hawaiʻi. The result was the successful “Lāhui Kānaka” system.
Employing process and participation as its drivers, Huamakahikina has now began to engage in conversations around the state of Hula here in Hawaiʻi and abroad. These conversations have led to the revelation that basically all Kumu Hula share the same concerns about how Hula has been, and still is, perceived, portrayed, and exploited. On this topic, a survey was initially formed in the Fall of 2020, and circulated amongst Kumu Hula. The input garnered was eventually formed into the “Huamakahikina Declaration on the Integrity, Stewardship, and Protection of Hula”, the goals of which include:
Establishment of Kumu Hula as the exclusive authorities of Hula;
Recognition of Kumu Hula as masters of the art and profession of Hula and having attained expertise in their discipline commensurate to university credentialing;
Maximization of the authority and agency of Kumu Hula over the expression and regulation of Hula within public, professional, and commercial spheres; and,
Advocacy for public funding and facilities for Hula commensurate with the importance of Hula.
Over the past several decades, acknowledgement of how Hula is exploited has grown even beyond the walls of individual hālau. With Hula widely recognized as being a significantly important and iconic aspect of past- and present-day Hawaiian culture and society, we assert that its security is in the best interest of all who call Hawaiʻi home, as well as those who come to visit our islands. As members of Huamakahikina, we recognize that only Kumu Hula can—and will—champion the cause to uphold and protect the sanctity and integrity of Hula for current and future generations.
In going forth with the input and support of over 150 Kumu Hula, the Kupukalālā Kumu Hula Convention was held on August 21 & 22, 2021. At this inaugural virtual-event, we discussed, refined, and ratified the “Huamakahikina Declaration on the Integrity, Stewardship, and Protection of Hula”
Whereas our members have the experience and expertise to lead this cause for the benefit of all, what we seek are allies who can support our efforts with funding for future projects and endeavors. As members of Huamakahikina, we hope that the following information will accurately portray our passion, drive, and commitment in premiering the Kupukalālā Convention for the ratification of the “Huamakahikina Declaration on the Integrity, Stewardship, and Protection of Hula.”