WHAT IS A HUAKA'I
A huaka'i, in hälau terms, is a travel experience with a defined purpose. It can be a local excursion to important cultural site, an outer island trip to visit and learn about cultural sites or a trip to another country such as New Zealand or Tahiti.
The itinerary for our huaka'i is carefully planned and the relevant information on the sites to be visited is prepared and printed for the benefit of the participants. The value to the students comes from the physical experience of the place that we have previously known only through the chant or the hula reference. To see, taste and touch the land gives immeasurable depth to the understanding of the particular hula associated with that place as well as the historical understanding of the specific place visited.
Because hula is such a visual art form, having the physical experience of the place about which we are dancing or chanting makes the dance live for the performer as well as for the viewer. For all of these reasons the huaka'i is an important teaching tool and a deeply enriching experience.
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