Last December, I went through the rites of ʻūniki which, in the tradition of my hālau, is a formal graduation ceremony marking ones transition to becoming a kumu hula or a teacher of hula. Every tradition is different. Some hālau do not ʻūniki students, while others do.
I share this image with all of you because it was a defining moment in the ceremony. It was the culmination of my lifelong career as a hula student and the beginning of a new chapter. A kumu hula from a different tradition tied on my pāʻū kaula and was the first to greet me into this prestigious guild of hula masters.
Becoming a kumu hula has been something I’ve reflected upon hundreds of times in the past year. I continue to mourn the end of my time as a hula student and although my new role demands its own attention, I now have time and space to properly process my transition between death and rebirth within the hula realm.