Hawaiian Culture and Music Essay

Hawaiian Culture and Music Essay

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Hawaiian is unique among the fifty states, especially in regards to its native music form, which is still preformed, and captivates audiences even today. Hawaiian chanting, music, and dance are not only key parts of life on the island, but have also become cultural icons as well as profound symbols of nature and religion in Hawaii. Hawaii has a rich history, beginning with the early settlers from Polynesia who brought their traditions and religions to Hawaii. Over the years, the inhabitants took those traditions and adapted them to their new home, creating the definitive culture that, even with Western influences, still is a captivating force within the society.
Hawaii was originally settled by Polynesian pioneers as early as the fourth century. The islands had no contact with the western world until 1787, when Captain James Cook discovered it. In 1810, king Kamehameha I unified Hawaii under his rule, establishing a monarchy that would last almost ninety years. In 1894 the monarchy was overthrown and the short-lived Republic of Hawaii was born, only lasting four years. In 1898, the United States annexed Hawaii and made it one of their territories. In 1959, Hawaii became the 50th state in the United States.
Hawaii’s population is diverse and unique. The islands are the most racially diverse state in the Unites States; in fact there are, no racial majorities in the Hawaii. 38.3% of the population is Asian while only 26.1% is Caucasian. Because of the diversity of citizens and the mix of Western idea with Hawaiian traditions, Hawaii has a varied and ethnically assorted culture. However, many citizens still practice the religion and traditions of their ancestors through their music and dance. The most important infl...

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...Even though the native Hawaiians only make up a small percentage of the population, their musical rituals and traditions not only have lasted hundreds of years, but also influenced the customs of today, especially through the Hula and the olis. Hawaii has the richest and most extensive culture in the United States, and it is because of the native Hawaiians that we can enjoy the culture of the Islands even today.

Works Cited

Miller, Terry, and Andrew Shahriari. World Music: A Global Journey. New York, London: Routledge Taylor and Francis Group, 2006.
Bockenhauer, Mark, and Stephen Cunha. Our Fifty States. Washington DC: National Geographic, 2004.

“Hawaii.” US Census. July 27, 2013. Accessed November 17, 2013. http://quickfacts.census.gov.

“Na Leo Hawai'i.” Smithsonian Folkways. November 19, 2013. Accessed November 19, 2013. http://www.folkways.si.edu..

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