Posted by: Shara | May 27, 2011

Fading Heritage

Fading Heritage

The firelight flickered
across the pages as,
the girl was woven into the spell
of the words.

Her heart pounded
and her body throbbed
to the music,
her hips twirling the heavy folds
of her pa’u skirt
as she danced.

The ancients chanted
in constant tones,
and the husky voice
calling out in time with them
she recognized not as her own;
one with the rhythm.

The wildness in her soul
called out to the spirits,
barely harnessing
trembling emotions                                                                                                                          in flowing movements.
The peak of the dance
released her in a flurry.

The girl by the fire
as she broke from the spell
and the echoes of her heritage.

The Hawaiian hula was first a religious rite, and then a spiritual journey passed from one generation to the next, preserving generations of history, legend, and family lineage. Today, the art is altering from its original form from centuries past, and the current knowledge is dwindling. Preservation is in short supply as we try to teach our children what once was.

“pa’u” is pronounced (pa-oo) and actually means “skirt”

It was used purposefully in the poem before the same word in English to give a better indication as to what it was for those that wouldn’t know.

To be of two heritages, especially ones as different as mine, and two cultural backgrounds, is a growth and learning curve understood best by others of the same type of descendancy.



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