“’A’ohe pau ka ‘ike i ka halau ho’okahi”
Not all knowledge is learned in one house. What does that mean? Well, for me, that means that my house is different from someone else’s house, and that’s okay.
I always like to reflect on my hula life, since I am a hula person. As a haumana (student) I was given certain basic foundations and I have been fortunate to have learned hula from several kumu from different halau. Each halau, or house as I’d like to call them, have different styles.
Neither of these kumu hula have a style more correct than the other, just different, distinct, and personal to their respective hula genealogy. It’s fascinating to know that one halau can kaholo (a side step) differently from another. I’ve come to a point where I can look at a dancer’s feet and know what halau, what island, or which kumu their hula originates.
But this saying goes beyond the scope of hula; it can be used in many situations. Fishing for instance. Molokai may fish a little different from Hawai’i Island. Conditions are different but it is how we function and how we see pono in situations that really sets us apart. I believe that everyone’s pono can be different and that’s okay.
My kupuna used to always tell me, “eh, never mind how they’re doing it, do what I ask – it works just as well.”
I used to get nuha and in my mind I would think, “okay, okay, but how come it’s so different?” As I got older and gained better understanding, I finally understood that he was telling me to relax, and not to worry about the differences. He taught me to do things from my na’au (insides) because our na`au knows what’s best. Sometimes I forget to listen to my na’au, but I do my best to see, feel, and hear what it is telling me.
Every year Ka Hula Piko is celebrated here on Moloka’i, the birthplace of hula. It is intriguing to see the many hula styles portrayed, shared and celebrated. People from all of Hawai’i Nei and abroad come to share their hula and to honor Laka, the goddess of Hula.
In the spirit of ’a’ohe pau ka ‘ike i ka halau ho’okahi, let us celebrate and learn from our differences and thus perpetuate our beloved Hawaiian heritage.
Kanoe Davis is keiki o ka `aina Molokai and the proud parent of three beautiful girls. Though she is not a kumu hula, she shares her hula knowledge with a halau young energetic like-minded people. Davis is also a proactive member of an `opio group who is trying to start a culturally based learning center on Molokai.