I first experienced the tradition, beauty, and passion of Hula as a child, during my first visit to the Hawaiian Islands. From that moment, the Hawaiian Islands and culture have held special meaning for me as a place of wonder, peace, and beauty. I am myself a student of Hula, having been part of a Halau and performing in front of hundreds. I continue to learn more about its culture, traditions, history, and life.
The dancers in these photographs are actually dancing during the photo shoots, wearing traditional outfits hand made by myself, representative of those worn in ancient times. They are part of Hula Halau (schools). Some dancers are Kumu Hula (teachers), some are accomplished competition winners, and others are lifelong students and performers. Every one of them is dedicated to the culture and traditions of Hula.
This art exists because of tireless efforts by those who have kept Hula alive throughout the centuries. That is why a portion of the sales of these photographs will be donated to organizations that help preserve Hula, so the culture, the traditions, and the life of Hula will continue to be passed on to future generations.
Mai pale i ke a`o a ka makua–Do not set aside the teaching of your elders.
-Peter T. Richards