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History of Hula Hooping

June 14, 2018

The history of hula hooping is important knowledge at the beginning of your hula-hooping journey. Knowing the roots of this alternative exercise connects you to your movement and prop. This is a quick light-hearted glimpse of the origins of hula hooping. Like why hula hooping is here and the evolution of hula hooping from the beginning.


When & Who Founded Hula Hooping-


To this day no one is completely sure when the hula hoop came into existence. We do know that it is an enjoyable source of exercise for adults and children around the world.


There is the knowledge that points to the Egyptians being the first to play with a hula-hoop. There are depictions of children playing with a hoop and a stick. Dated back to about 2,500 B.C.



Hula hoop play is a part of the Ancient Egyptian culture by using iron or copper to form a circular toy and hooked rod for Egyptian children. Children much like today, are the future of the civilization. The Egyptians wanted to ensure that the children were getting the most enjoyment out of the day. Happy children guarantee a happy future for the civilization. These toy hula hoops encouraged children to complete their chores, so they were able to play with their friends.



The next historical visual depiction of a hula hoop in use is on an Ancient Grecian vase. Showing Ganymede, the most beautiful Trojan prince rolling a hula hoop around on the ground. The Ancient Grecian vase dates back to around 500-490 BCE. History shows that the Ancient Greeks used a hoop to create a game like today's bowling.

Supporting the thoughts of Ancient Egyptians being the originator of the playful phenomenon.


Do you think they knew back then that the hula hoop was going to travel through time with their descendants?


Why Hula Hooping -


Hula Hooping founded as a child's toy to encourage outdoor exercise. One of the ultimate ways of playing with a hula hoop consisted of encouraging the hoop to continuously roll by hitting it with a stick. The most popular method is making a hula hoop whirl around your waist as long as possible as a mild daily exercise.


Evolution of Hula Hooping-

In the 14th Century, Great Britain used hula hooping as recreational exercise and as a sacred religious tool.


Individuals either used full wooden or metal hula hoops. Nowadays the weight of a metal or wooden hula hoop is unfathomable for its modern uses.


The English sailors were the creators of the term hula hooping. For they saw Hawaiians hula dancing and thought it looked familiar from back home.


Later in the 1400s reports show Native Americans using hula hoops as part of their sacred dances. Native American dancers have established a unique and well-known style of hula hooping. Using many small hoops in their dance to represent spiritual animals like an eagle, coyote or butterfly.



Native Americans believe a hula hoop represents the circle of life. Always continuous and dancing with the circle of life is a sacred ceremonial occurrence.


In the 1800s hula hooping was once again popular in Great Britain. Wooden hoops populating the streets with children in tow. The main way to enjoy hula hoops in the 1800s was to keep the hoop rolling by hitting it with a stick. Or twirling it around your waist for as long as you can go.


In the 1950s there was a hula hoop frenzy that was too big to ignore. Australia is the place the hula hoop craze made history. Offering lightweight bamboo hula hoops that were easier to handle. Unfortunately, the demand for bamboo to make the hula-hoops was not efficient. Soon Australians created a more efficient design for the common hula hoop, PLASTIC!


The hula hoop became a part of American culture in 1958. When Richard Knerr and Arthur “Spud” Melin created the first polyethylene hula hoop under their Wham-O name. The American craze for hula-hoops lasted from January to October. Production estimated around 100 million hula hoops sold in that first year.


Popular schoolyard games such as keeping the hula hoop on your waist the longest without it falling. Also, keeping


the hula hoop rolling for the most consistent distance.


Hula-hooping influenced many different parts of the world throughout centuries in many different ways. Let's keep this phenomenon alive and start hula-hooping!

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