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Preserving the Past, Sharing the Future

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Aloha mai e ka po`e hula! Welcome to Hula Preservation Society!

HPS is the piko that connects us together as hula people from around the world. Thank you for visiting, and we ask you to please join this wonderful organization. To find out how, click here.

HPS is a non-profit dedicated to documenting and sharing the amazing life stories of our eldest living Hula Masters and their efforts to perpetuate hula, so their legacies live on to inspire and educate generations to come in the authentic culture of Hawai`i.

Much of hula kahiko, ancient hula, and its accompanying practices were lost during the 1800's, a time of unprecedented change. Elders now in their 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s are the last direct link to their grandparents who lived during the time of the Hawaiian Kingdom and were first-hand witnesses to the traditional hula of our ancestors.

HPS conducts one-on-one oral histories and presents public panel discussions with beloved hula elders. As of 2014, we have worked with more than 80 elders and carried out three dozen public programs on five islands, resulting in over 1,200 hours of irreplaceable documentation. Sessions are recorded on digital video, capturing nuanced voices and gestures as these experts share cultural gems, distinctive insights, and words of wisdom through hula. We also digitize and catalogue historic materials given to HPS by the elders themselves.

Combined, these resources represent a significant digital cultural library to be shared through traditional media avenues, and innovative means such as this website, which receives 200,000 hits from around the world each month. As the only 501(c)3 dedicated to this work, such online activity is validation that today’s hula community is truly global and that HPS’ work builds and maintains connections to Hawai`i, the hula piko, or source of hula.

Note: We currently have a prototype of how these kupuna hula resources could be shared online in the future. This prototype has two sections: “Hula Library” and “Meet Our Kupuna”. This prototype was completed in 2002 and both sample sections have not been updated since then. As our time with these elders is limited, we must focus our limited grant monies on them while they are here. In the years ahead, HPS will expand and build out our online and “traditional” resources from the oral histories we are currently collecting.

This crucial preserving of the past will help us share in a bright future together as hula lovers.


At HPS, our mission is two-fold:


Preserving the Past...

  • Honoring our senior-most Hula Elders, through digital documentation of their hula life stories, training, experiences, and mana`o

  • Helping digitally preserve critical hula resources already in existence (video, audio, photo, and print)

  • Caring for physical cultural treasures given to HPS by hula elders of Hawai`i

...Sharing the Future

  • Supporting our global hula community and their efforts to perpetuate hula through development of an online Hula Research Library based on the resources gathered

  • Working toward building a Hula Resource Center in Hawai`i featuring physical and digital archives, a museum, and access to our digital library for teachers, students, producers, authors, and other researchers to gather, collaborate, and further their understandings and education related to hula and Hawaiian culture

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