A long staff with a cluster of feathers on the top end, called kahili.

Chicago’s Legacy Hula Opening Ceremony

Event summary


Included with admission


About this event

Performance at 1pm and Activities from 1-4pm

Opening ceremonies for Chicago’s Legacy Hula presented in partnership with the Aloha Center of Chicago.

Celebrate 130 years of Hula in Chicago. Learn the untold history of four Kumu Hula (master teachers of Hawaiian Hula) who perpetuated, preserved, and protected Hula as a way of life. Listen to the voices of Kānaka Maoli (Native Hawaiians) as they tell their own history and learn how the community continues to thrive in Chicago and beyond.

Feather Kāhili Demonstration

Kāhili, the symbol of the Royal Hawaiian Monarchy, has blessed the Field Museum Collections with thirty-five Kāhili gifted by Princess Kulamanu. Come and see the featherwork demonstrated firsthand, and admire the example of recently made Pa`a ka lima (Hand Kāhili) that are considerably shorter and customarily held by the women displayed openly.  Each  Pa`a ka lima has 750 individually wrapped feathers to 100 stems.

Kapa Designs Activity

Learn the Hawaiian art form of `ohe ka pala. `Ohe ka pala is the traditional stamping technique requiring the proper tools. `Ohe ka pala are made from bamboo strips with designs carved into the inside skin of the chute. These designs and motifs are other forms of mo`olelo or storytelling. Big and little kids can join in this fun activity to tell their own stories while getting hands-on experience working with real `ohe kapala and a deeper understanding of the traditional designs and motifs of Hawai`i.

Hula & Mele Mini-Stage Participatory Engagement

Kanikapila! Impromptu Hula, because someone began strumming a `ukulele and everyone else belted out in Hawaiian song. The best exchange of aloha one can ever experience. We encourage those with hula and mele to come and share in this cultural practice that has survived for 130 years in Chicago. Pick a Kumu Hula, or pick an Ali`i (chief) and let's honor them. E Hula Mau!

This event is held in conjunction with the Field Museum’sAsian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander Heritage Month programming.