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Hawaii Culture Research Paper

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Understanding the culture of a nation, people, or group one must immerse themselves and experience the nation’s arts, beliefs, customs, practices, values, and social behaviors. By attending a cultural event, an individual is able to experience firsthand the diverse offerings of culture and artistic expression found in a community. At the moment I reside in upstate New York, Albany to be exact and there are no cultural events to attend; well none that are occurring the remainder of my Humanities course. I decided to choose a place I always wanted to visit, do some research online to learn a little about their culture. I chose Hawaii as the place to visit and after some probing, I become aware of how rich their culture is. Hawaii is widely…show more content…
The hula's chants express stories, genealogy, and history of the Hawaiian people, and also their relationship with nature-the birds and fish, trees and flowers, mountains, oceans, rivers, wind, rain and Hawaii's active volcanoes. In 1820, missionaries arrived in Hawaii and introduced Christianity to the Hawaiians. The missionaries, advisors to the Hawaiian government, greatly influenced public policy and strongly discouraged hula, which they saw as "heathen" and "lascivious." This influenced King Kamehameha II to abolish the kapu system (ancient Hawaiian code of conduct laws and regulations) and put forth a royal decree which prohibited the worship of Hawaiian gods, and heiau (temples) and images of gods were destroyed; as a result, the traditional context of hula was lost, however, the dance was still performed. In 1830, Queen Regent, albeit influenced heavily by her conversion to Christianity via missionaries, banned public performances of hula. Due to the discouragement of hula, the natives had to practice it in…show more content…
For the festival, a Royal Court is created to represent the King and Queen and their family. The Royal Court is coordinated by Uʻilani Peralto and Luana Kawelu. Prior to the Merrie Monarch Festival, Uʻilani and Luana search for a male and female to portray King Kalākaua and Queen Kapiʻolani. Uʻilani says, “the selection committee looks to find two individuals who exemplify maturity, humility, and pride in the Hawaiian culture.” Just like the Hālau’s who enter the competition, those who represent the royal court are carefully selected for the event. The court consists of 22 members total, typically represented by friends and family of the chosen king and queen. The rest of the royal court includes a counselor, kahu (caretaker), ladies-in-waiting, kahili bearers, chanters, and pu kane (conch shell blowers). Each person in the royal court is educated about their roles and Kalākaua’s mission. These people who make up the Royal Court represent more than just Hawaiian history, but the Hawaiian spirit that continuously flows throughout the islands (Ashe
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