Native American Culture Dance Research Paper

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There are many different aspects of every culture which include music, food, dance, clothing, languages, and many more. Many cultures around the world use dance as a way of storytelling to preserve and communicate their history. For example, the Native American tribes meet at powwow dances to tell stories of myths and legends from their culture, stories of their warriors, and to remember and share their experiences with future generations. Another example is of Argentina’s culture, their dance being the Argentine Tango. In this dance, they dance to songs about passion and discontent. In Mexico, a girl’s sweet sixteen or debutante coming out party is celebrated at her Quinceanera. She would dance the waltz with her father as one last time before…show more content…
The thing they all have in common is that what these dances express, cannot be truly expressed with just words alone. In the Hawaiian culture, their dance is hula. Hula is a “traditional art of movement, smooth bodily gestures and vocals.” (Var). Hula is a dance that preserves myths, epic tales, traditions, genealogies, migrations, history and philosophy. In the book The Magnetic Fields ’69 Love Songs, LD Beghtol said that “it is a mystical event in which performer and audience conspire in believing the dancer becomes the concept or thing her movements symbolize.” (36). In this paper I will be talking about the background and history of hula, the tourist aspect of hula, and how hula preserves the Hawaiian culture and history. Hula is not just a tourist attraction, it is a form of storytelling of the culture and the history of…show more content…
It is a dance form about unity of the mind and body; it is the unity between the elements of nature and man. Anne-Kristine Tischendorf said, “Hula is like a breath of life that is exquisitely embodied and expressed in patterns of movement and sound. It is everything that makes up the universe. Hula is a vital expression of our Hawaiian culture and is performed throughout the world. The hula associated with the pre-contact of Hawaii was performed mainly for ceremonial and religious purposes that were used by the political leaders, chiefs, and priests. The pahu, ipu heke, chants, and language of hula all inspire us to a deeper understanding of the heritage and traditions of the Hawaiian people.” The different movements in the dance have certain meanings behind them. There is the ‘Ami’ami which is the jerk of the hips that stimulate sexual intercourse, the ‘Ami honua which is the rotating of the hips that refer to the world/earth, the Lele which is the lifting of the rear heel that means to fly or skip, and there are many more. There are only some petro glyphs that were found as possible “written” documents. The continuation and preservation of the tradition is solely dependent on the memory of the keepers. Without the dance, everything would eventually be forgotten. Tourism and recording technologies have changed the form, production, and meaning of

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