eregyrn: (Hula)
I am seriously on the verge of quitting hula. So, bear with me while I externalize. )
eregyrn: (Hula)
Because if you can't whine about your weird health issues to your friends on LJ, who *can* you whine to?

No, really, click. It's not that gross. And it's even kind of funny. And educational. )
eregyrn: (Default)
I'm so delighted: we are finally learning our first really dirty hula!

I know that what got a lot of Polynesian dancing in trouble with the uptight Western missionaries was that it all looks pretty dirty, but it would be a mistake to assume that what Western eyes see as sexualized messages are intended that way.

However, we have started learning a hula in the kahiko (ancient) style, called "No Ka Moku Kiakahi Ke Aloha" (done by the artist Keali'i Reichel -- warning, his site has music playing). The title loosely translates to "The one-masted ship that I love", and while on the surface it is about happy sailing things, apparently "ship" and especially "the tall mast" should be read metaphorically as exactly what you are thinking they might be. Heh. In the second verse we get to do an especially obvious arm-movement that shows the mast becoming...taller. Uh-huh.

While on the subject of Hawaiian stuff, although it is a few days late, I also feel the need to report on the fabulous exhibit of vintage Hawaiian shirts that [ profile] flos_campi and I went to see last Saturday, at the American Textile History Museum in Lowell, Massachusetts.

This was a great exhibit -- much more extensive than I thought it would be, and beautifully designed (says the woman who once considered museum exhibit design as a serious career choice). The large majority of the 150 shirts are from the 40s, 50s and a few from the 60s. They're all gorgeously preserved, so that you're looking at them and your eye is being fooled into thinking they're new, contemporary shirts. I mean, some of them, you can tell they're from that era because of the designs. But some of the designs look completely modern, or at least wouldn't look out of place on sales racks today. (Or, as Maura commented, maybe they just look "modern" because retro is currently in style.)

The exhibit's designers did do two things that we really appreciated. First, they grouped the shirts by motif, so that you'd get to see all the foliage designs in one area, and all the sea-life designs in another; all the "cultural"/lifestyle designs, the "heritage" designs; the "tourism" designs; the music designs; and so on. This was a great idea, as it gave your eye something to look for and to focus on with each grouping of shirts, which was important in an exhibit like this that consists of such visually busy objects. Second, in many cases they included real (or real-looking fake, in the case of all the plants) examples of the things that were showing up in the shirt designs in much more stylized form. This was especially cool for the grouping of foliage/flower/fruit designs, as they had found really excellent silk and plastic versions of a lot of the native flora, so that you could see it right beside the shirts.

I definitely recommend this exhibit to anyone in the Boston area. Karl, if you would still like to go, Maura and I are thinking we'd definitely go back with you.

Another fun thing about the exhibit was that the end included some actually modern shirts, a number from the Banana Jack company, including this lovely and tasteful black on charcoal design, which was in the exhibit. Maura and I thought that [ profile] karlchristian might need to own it. Hell, I might need to own it. That's the problem with an exhibit like this -- I saw at least 5 shirts that I really, really wanted to take away with me, and sadly, since they were made in the 40s, the likelihood of finding them is slim.


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