Tom Hiona opens halau, 1947.


WELL KNOWN TEACHER Of Hula to Open Studio on March 1

One of Hawaii’s best known teachers of the hula and directors of hula dancing, Tom Hiona, will open a new studio March 1. the studio is located at 1914 Kahai St., Kalihi.

For the past 15 years, Tom Hiona has been a leader in teaching both ancient and modern hula dances. He will instruct classes in all types of hula, including the following—pahu or drum dances, the olapa, uliuli or rattle gourd, puili or bamboo, iliili or pebble, ka kalaau or tapping sticks as well as modern dances.

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“Tom Hiona and his Huapalas” is a familiar phrase in local hula dancing circles. His troupes have performed at the opening of many of the hotels, night clubs and cafes and have appeared at the Honolulu Academy of Arts on Lei Day programs, at the University of Hawaii and at the city hall and elsewhere.

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His pupils perform with grace, color and delicacy and their dances are authentic. He himself is an expert with the drums and other Hawaiian instruments.

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In 1940, Mr. Hiona took his troupe to the west coast and appeared at several well known clubs and cafes.

A student of the ancient forms of the hulas and the religious and ceremonial traditions on which many of them are based, Mr. Hiona was an instructor for the dancers in the Punahou pageant celebrating the centennial of Punahou school.

(Star-Bulletin, 2/27/1947, p. 27)


(Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Volume LIII, Number 16988, Page 27. February 27, 1927.

2 thoughts on “Tom Hiona opens halau, 1947.

  1. For those who are familiar with the well-known Matson menus by Eugene Savage that show an abundance of Hawaiian people engaged in various activities, Tom Hiona is shown in one of them. He’s easy to spot because he’s looking directly out at the viewer. I was told that Hiona had assisted Savage when the latter was brought to Hawaii in about 1940 to do research for his artwork, thus he was commemorated by appearing in one of the large murals which Savage painted for his commission.

  2. Aloha…This is so amazing… Tom Hiona is my granduncle… never got to meet.. I would like to learn more about his works in the Hula…. And to read the stories about his life and his achievements.. mahalo piha.

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