Hula from Kahuku at the Orpheum, 1905.


The country dancers of Kahuku came over to Honolulu to show the city folks what a real hula is. The show was at the Orpheum last night under the ponderous auspices of Haona whose hula school is the pride of Koolau. There was a good crowd out to see the performance and the people seemed to enjoy what they saw.

The first part of the exhibition was a hula paipu. Keaka, the star dancer, appeared in a red pa-u, with the appropriate leis and a fixed stare.

Madame Haona thumped a calabash and then twiddled a little rattler till her deprecatory helper, Niuolaa (k), smiled feebly and took the count with his instrument. Keaka danced gracefully and well and the applause rose heavily.

The Emerald Glee Club intermitted with some Hawaiian songs sung in conscientious style.

Hula olaapapa was the next on the program and once more Madame Haona banged the calabash and chanted voluminously while the same Keaka swung her lithe body over the stage to the uproarious joy of the gallery.

Hula uli-uli ku iluna, with the rattlers dancing on Haona’s knee followed and Niulaa, the helper, meek and mild, almost achieved vigor while he banged the cymbal and thumbed the drum.

Again the Emerald Glee Club played in lady-like style and elicited applause.

Then Madame Haona sprung her one sensation, hula uli-uli noho ilalo. The weary Keaka swung out to the resounding chant and took new life. The helper became agonized in his efforts to keep up with his superior on the drum and the roar of Haona’s singing thundered through the hall while Keaka danced deliriously, her red pa-u becoming a vibrant flame. Haona raised her voice a note and the swift swing of the hula girl took a more furious speed until every shout of the chant came with a bellow that raised the audience from their seats and made the atmosphere tense with expectancy.

But this was the end of the performance. Keaka sank exhausted and Haona voluminously and coughingly announced that the show was pau.

Haona had five other girls in training for the hula but did not think them equal to the strain of a metropolitan exhibition. Consequently the whole show lacked vim and life except for the one dance in which Keaka, the star dancer, forgot her sedateness.

The audience was rather a representative one and included several parties of fashionable people who professed to be duly shocked and amused.

(Pacific Commercial Advertiser, 10/15/1905, p. 1)


The Pacific Commercial Advertiser, Volume III, Number 146, Page 1. October 15, 1905.

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