Hula circle


The hula circle, on the lawn in front of Maui’s Winery at Ulupalakua Ranch, was originally a ring of cypress trees planted by King David Kalakaua in the 1870s. The circle, in which his dancers would perform, symbolised an era of reawakening for Hawaiian culture and tradition. In 2012, two of the 145-foot trees were destroyed by a late winter storm, and others were subsequently found to be unsafe. To preserve the deep meaning of the circle, artist Tim Garcia was asked to carve the remaining stumps in a way that told their story. The result is an arresting and beautiful sight: three hula dancers, three guardians, two obelisks, an infinity vessel and a figure representing Kalakaua, his arm raised in a welcoming gesture for all to come and celebrate the legacy of Ulupalakua. Halau—hula schools—come from around the world to dance in this circle, which the locals say has become more defined with the loss of height. And the salvageable wood from the old trees was milled onsite for new fencing.

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