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Hawaii: Big Island tour to link the land and hula

April 01, 2014|By Jay Jones
  • Hula master Ab Kawainohoikalai Valencia plays the ipu heke, a Hawaiian percussion instrument, as dancers perform the hula on the rim of the crater at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. A tour in April will link the hula with the land.
Hula master Ab Kawainohoikalai Valencia plays the ipu heke, a Hawaiian… (Dave Boyle )

The hula is sometimes performed by dancers in grass skirts, but the connection between the dance and the land goes well beyond that, as visitors can discover next month when a hula master and a botanist team up for a field trip on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Much of that day, April 11, will be spent at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. At the Kilauea Overlook, hula master Ab Kawainohoikalai Valencia will lead a walk among the native grasses and flowering plants essential to hula.

He will explain how they are used not only in the costumes worn by dancers but also on the altars at which traditional hulas are performed.

The six-hour seminar will also include a stop in the nearby village of Volcano. On land that botanist Tim Tunison is restoring to its original ecosystem, participants will get a hands-on lesson in the growing of native plants.

The Plants of Hula tour begins at 9 a.m. at the park’s Kilauea Visitor Center. The cost is $65 for adults and $25 for students. (Kindergarten through college qualify.)

Register online or by calling (808) 985-7373(808) 985-7373.

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