Is your mind getting all twisted wondering how and when did the hula hoop evolve? Read through this article to get an insight on the hula hoop history.

Hula Hoop History

A hula hoop is a toy ring that is twirled around the waist, limbs or neck for play or exercise. This could be made from bamboo, metal, willow or rattan. The last few years have seen a comeback of the hula hoop culture, usually stated as ‘hoop dance’ or just ‘hula hooping’. Interestingly, an International Holiday World Hoop Day is also celebrated every year around the world and the date of the World Hoop Day is decided in numerical series, for e.g., 2007-07-07, 2009-09-09 and 2012-12-12 etc – basically, just another hoop, isn’t it? But have you ever wondered how hula hooping came into existence? Although the exact source of hula hoop is unknown, people have been playing with these hoops throughout history. The 1950’s can easily be called the Hoop Era for this is when the popularity of the hula hoop peaked. It was a decade of fun, excitement and individuality. And now, it’s time again for some hooping and fun. Seize your coonskin caps and letter sweaters for we are going to the days of hula hoops, greasers, sock hops, Elvis and beatniks to see where it all started.

Interesting Information On Origin & Background Of Hula Hoop
  • The history of hula hoop dates back to the Greek and Egyptian Civilization in 3000 B.C. Ancient Greeks, Native Americans and Egyptians played with hoops made from grape vines for entertainment.
  • In the 14th century, hooping became quite popular in England where people used hoops made of stick or grass. However, the British barred them as they considered hooping to be harmful for the backbone and the heart.
  • Thereafter, Eskimos used hoops for amusement as well as for practical purposes. They rolled hoops while spinning and taught their children hunting and harpooning using these hoops.
  • Later, native Indians and Lakota Indians evolved the hoop dance and even used hoops for target practice.
  • In the early 19th century, some soldiers visited the Hawaiian Islands and marked similarities between the Hula dancing and graceful hoops. From then on, spinning hoops got its name as hula hoops.
  • Later, in 1957, the two founders of the Wham-O toy company, Richard Knerr and Arthur ‘Spud’ Melin, decided to re-invent hula hoops. Thereafter, the contemporary Hula Hoop was mass promoted and exported from Australia to America. It saw huge sales with about twenty-five million hoops being sold in four months! They even celebrated the sale of the millionth hula hoop as a great event in 1959. Billy Joel’s famous record, ‘We Didn't Start the Fire’ speaks about this occasion in its lyrics.
  • The 1950’s were very thrilling and are remembered as a time of happiness, excitement and pure fun. The Hula Hoops reached their crown of popularity during this phase. Rock and Roll also became very popular at this time and teenagers found it to be the greatest thing on Earth.
  • However, the dawn of this decade also saw some thins in the growth of hula hoops culture. The Japanese banned hula hooping as they considered the hip rotation to be particularly indecent. Russians too outlawed it as they considered that these empty hoops portrayed ‘emptiness of the American culture’.
  • Nevertheless, the company again launched its products in Europe, with competitors arising in the Netherlands, Germany and the United Kingdom, in 1983.
With the advent of technology and in the world of electronic games and entertainment, the popularity of hula hoops gradually faded away. However, there’s again an up rise of hula hooping that is being observed lately – courtesy our growing craze for fitness!

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