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Hula Sticks (Kala'au), Hawaii, Mid-20th Century

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NMM 1807.  Hula Sticks (Kala'au), Hawaii, mid-20th century.

NMM 1807. Hula sticks (kala’au), Hawaii, mid-20th century. Two wooden sticks struck together by dancers as a rhythmic accompaniment to hulas (narrative dances intended to tell a story). In Hawaii, as in most Polynesian cultures, great importance is placed on the power of words. Meles, the poetic texts of chants and songs, are perceived as connections to the supernatural world. As these chants and songs are sung, they are simultaneously enacted visually through hula dances. Length: 26 cm (10-1/4"). Gift of Linda Hansen Solheim, Estherville, Iowa, 1977.

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