Just in time for Merrie Monarch, the Pahoa Museum is featuring an exhibit that features the history of Hula.
The Kent Ghirard collection is currently on Display provided by the Hula Preservation Society.
Kent Ghirard was born in California and became fascinated with hula at the age of 12 when his family visited Hawai`i on vacation. He received his first hula lessons from Marguerite Duane, professional dancer and friend of Hilo Hattie. After he moved to Hawaii in 1947, he studied with Alice Keawekäne at the Bill Lincoln Studio, and he later taught privately and also held classes at the Betty Lei Studio. He learned several kahiko from Mary Kawena Puku`i but concentrated his hula efforts primarily on `auana (modern) hula for tourist audiences. His dancers were known for their perfect grooming and professionalism, and he was regularly hired by the Hawai`i Visitors Bureau. Kent considers his hula style as simple, utilizing only basic hula steps. His “Hula Nani Girls” dance troupe became the first Hawaiian group to tour Japan in 1955.
Inside the museum, you will see a wall of his works that are truly works of art.
You can learn more about Kumu Ghirard and see more of his photography work here.
The museum has also opened a small coffee/snack shop called the Milk and Honey Cafe.
Which features a little indoor dining area and a few seats outside as well.
So while you’re in Pahoa for the Merrie Monarch, stop on by the local community museum in Pahoa to see some of the History of Hula by Kent Ghirard.