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ESCAPADES > Hawaiian Islands

            The Aloha State, as Hawaii was officially nicknamed upon becoming the 50th state of the Union on August 21, 1959, occupies a land area almost wholly volcanic in origin. Some small areas above sea level consist of limestone derived from ancient coral reefs. These reefs were formed during periods when the sea level was higher than it is now. 

            The diverse scenery in Hawaii also includes mountains rising to more than 4,000 meters (13,000 feet) above sea level; great stretches of barren lava beds; golden beaches rimmed by palm trees; magnificent cliffs and brightly colored canyons; dense rain forests and arid thorny scrublands; and a multi-hued patchwork of field and forest.

Surfing at Waimea Bay, Hawaii
            This surfer takes advantage of the challenging conditions at Waimea Bay on the coast of Hawaii. Hawaii is famous for its large-wave surfing, especially for the infamous swells of the Banzai Pipeline, where surfers ride waves in excess of 9 m (30 ft) in height.

Hula Dancing
These dancers, clothed in characteristic long skirts, perform the hula dance. Until conservative missionaries in Hawaii forced them to change their style of dress in 1820, women hula dancers wore short skirts and men wore loincloths. Originally a religious dance, the hula now tells a story through the winding movements of the hips and limbs of the dancers.

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Hula Dancing