After fires, Maui finds strength in spirituality

The fire line in a meadow after wildfires in Kula, Hawaii, on the island of Maui. — ©️2023 The New York Times Company

THE week after devastating wildfires swept across Maui in Hawaii, Hokulani Holt walked to the centre of a grassy courtyard about 20km from Lahaina, just over the island’s steep mountains.

A kumu hula, or hula teacher, Holt gathered about 50 listeners into a half-circle, and exhorted them to “lift your voice.” They each held a cup of water, a connection between the body, soul and aina, Hawaiians’ expansive idea of the land.

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