I wonder if this ever happened, and if it did, if the recordings are still around, 1934.

Genuine Hulas to Be Preserved In Series of Motion Pictures

Aid of modern motion pictures and phonographs will be enlisted to preserve the Hawaiian hula as it was danced in Kalakaua’s days, so that burlesque innovations will not cause the dance to degenerate in years to come, it was announced Monday when Akoni Mika, 68-year-old hula master, arrived here from his home at Keaukaha, Hilo.

The project for photographing and recording the traditional hulas for posterity was conceived by George P. Mossman, manager of Lalani Hawaiian Village, the famous Waikiki institution founded to keep the lore of old Hawaii alive despite modernization of the Islands.

“With Akoni and other old-time hula masters who will be brought to the Village from time to time during the year we will make the most complete record of the real hula that has ever been attempted,” Mossman said. “This work is very important, because without it Hawaii may some day lose its beautiful hula through gradual changes.”

Six methods will be used, Mossman said. These are motion pictures, phonograph records of the songs, written records and descriptions, the learning of the old hulas by all the Village residents, and the teaching of these hulas by them to the students who constantly come to the Village for instruction in Hawaiian arts.

[Also, did you see this week’s post on Bishop Museum’s “Welo Hou” blog? They talk about an old name song for Kamehameha V contributed by the Akoni Mika spoken above! Click here to get taken to the post.]

(Honolulu Advertiser, 2/21/1934, p. 6)


The Honolulu Advertiser, 78th Year, Number 16,905, Page 6. February 21, 1934.

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