Scaling the Heights of Disrespect

What was Who thinking ?????

Nathaniel Emersonʻs 1915 translation/retelling of the epic saga, Pele and Hiiaka, places this mele right on page 1 of Chapter 1. At Peleʻs request, Hiʻiaka entertains her with the dance taught by Hiiaka’s companion, Hopoe.

This mele is one of the most venerated of hula ‘āla‘apapa. It is among those dances that have been passed down continuously for generations. It can be documented definitely back into the mid-1800s at the very least. Moreover, as a hula ‘āla‘apapa, and quite arguably as a hula Pele as well, this mele would be ranked among those marked as sacred under the old system of kapu.

So why on earth would anyone think of re-staging it so completely on a group of novice dancers? The choices made (in movement, paʻi, and the broken-record yelling of “huki” that tears apart the placename “Nanahuki”) demonstrate, moreover, that whoever made those choices of re-staging did so with the most questionable absence of background to do so.

To me, the most tragic thing in something like this is that the clueless do not even know how clueless they are, and that is precisely why, in the end, this clip is a glaring example of cultural disrespect at its most.

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4 Responses to Scaling the Heights of Disrespect

  1. Auntie Maria says:

    This appears to be a hula group in Mexico…

  2. Betty says:

    A dancing group in Mexico, perhaps. Hula? No….

  3. Kuuipo Kumukahi says:

    OMG! And I am sure a whole lot more acronyms could be used here and warranted. I do’t know who this group is, where they are from, for whom they are performing this but obviously they are clueless in where ever they may be and clueless on what they are doing and why. This entire display is “madness”, “craziness” and “non-sense”.

    I cannot fault the performers, they are only displaying what they’ve been taught. Unfortunately we do not have a monitoring system or any system to measure this kind of display except for those of us who watch and know better – but what’s the consequence – none! This group will continue to do display this mess.

    Who is their source ? That source is responsible for that mess. But if that source was not properly trained (and even some times trained sources push the envelope) obviously the train wreck can be predicted. Yikes!!!

    This display is the outcome of a source without care of the integrity or dignity of our Hawaiian Culture and Traditions.

    The audience has a lot of power – stop viewing this garbage, stop attending these kinds of perfromances and get it off You Tube! Is that possible ?

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