What is Hawaii’s Culture?

Daniel Gallagher

December 26, 2022


If you are going to Hawaii for the first time, you may wonder what Hawaii’s culture is like. There are many different types of Hawaiian culture to choose from, and learning about them can help you decide where to visit when you get there. In Hawaiian culture, it is considered a life-affirming concept. As such, it is an essential part of the island’s identity. Hawaiians also have a strong connection to their ancestors. This is apparent in the lyrics of the local songs. Most of these are about the Hawaiian way of life.

Hula dances

Hula is a Hawaiian dance that has existed for thousands of years. During the early twentieth century, hula became known worldwide, thanks to Hawaii’s rise in tourism. This dance is performed to the sound of chants and Hawaiian music. Today, hula can be seen at several events. The Merrie Monarch Festival is the most well-known hula contest in Hawaii.

Hula began as a form of ritual in ancient times. It was used to alleviate the volcano goddess Pele. Before 1820, men and women danced the hula. Instruments used in the dance included rattles and gourds. Missionaries disapproved of the hula.

American Protestant Missionaries, the main Christian force in Hawaii in the 1800s, began spreading their religion. They considered hula a pagan religion. These missionaries saw it as vulgar, immoral, and ungodly.

King David Kalakaua, also known as the Merrie Monarch, encouraged locals to preserve hula culture in the nineteenth century. The king’s coronation in 1883 featured a hula.


Aloha is a Hawaiian word meaning “share” or “affection”. Typically used in greetings or goodbyes, it’s also used to show respect. The Hawaiians have developed an etymology of the word that traces back to a time before recorded history.

The best way to understand what the aloha is all about is to learn about the history of the concept. One of the greatest advocates of the spirit was Duke Kahanamoku. He was a consummate host, making every guest feel like family. During his life, he entertained many world leaders.

As a result, the aloha has become more than a way of greeting. Many everyday services have aloha in their name. While aloha can mean many things, it is commonly referred to as a way of life. It is the Hawaiians’ way of caring for the land, one another, and themselves.

Hula kahiko

Hula kahiko is a type of dance performed in Hawaii. It is characterized by its traditional costuming and chants. It uses rhythm sticks and gourds carved into drums to keep track of its movements. After the arrival of foreigners, a variety of new changes took place in Hawaiian culture.

The emergence of Western influence has also affected the way hula is performed. Some artists have added new elements to hula dancing. Songs accompany many hulas. These songs may tell stories about royalty and the creation of the world. Others tell tales of Christian morality.

During the nineteenth century, several hulas were performed for the public. However, some disapproved of hula. As a result, missionaries converted Hawaiians to Christianity. They did not have the legal authority to enforce any laws. However, they saw the sinful nature of the hula. Eventually, the hula was banned by the government.

Modern Hawaiian songs

Modern Hawaiian songs are a blend of ancient and modern influences. These songs also represent Hawaii’s cultural identity. They have an educational value, as well. Listening to Hawaiian songs, students can learn more about Hawaii’s history and culture.

In the nineteenth century, Hawaiians recorded chants and songs. The instruments used were made from plants and conch shells. However, the use of western string instruments changed the music genre.

In the twentieth century, the craze for Hawaiian music waned. It was in the 1960s that the rock era took hold. This period was followed by the rise of the slack key guitar, which helped popularize Hawaiian music.

Many excellent musicians perform Hawaiian music. One of the most famous performers is Don Ho. He embodies the spirit of Hawaii’s love for his island home. Another famous entertainer is Gabby Pahinui, who has an enchanting falsetto.