Hula Dancers Bring Hawaii to D.C.

A 25-member halau from Hilo’s Hawaii Community College, UNUKUPUKUPU, are sharing their aloha at the nation’s capital this week.

Starting Wednesday, the halau will perform twice-daily dances as part of the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival.

The Washington Post put together a feature about the troupe, and their kumu hula: 

They are often portrayed in the pop culture as loosely assembled welcome parties for tourists or scantily clad women at luaus. But UNUKUPUKUPU is bringing drums and gourd implements. They’ll have dance sticks, regalia and plants with specific alchemic properties. They’ll establish their Kuaha, their universe, and build their hula shrines. They’re transporting over 2,200 pounds of stuff in all, at a cost of roughly $10,000, because anything less, say organizers, would be inauthentic.

Also this week, University of Hawaii President MRC Greenwood and outgoing UH Manoa Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw participated in a celebration of land-grant universities at the Lincoln Memorial. 

Here’s a recap of the festivities, courtesy of UH: 

Creation of land-grant universities celebrated at Lincoln Memorial from University of Hawai’i System on Vimeo.

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