Their graduation was a special ceremony with a strict protocol.Graduating students remained in the halau for several days rehearsing, undergoing ritual purification in the sea, offering prayers, eating and so on.Some of these were like a form of worship, paying homage to the gods with tales of their exploits.Other hula honored the ali'I - the chiefs and royalty - whose genealogies often linked them to the gods.
There was mana or life force and spiritual energy in the words, in the precision of the performance, in the discipline and harmony of the dancers' movements, and in their spiritual composure, a sacred continuum that linked gods with man and nature.On Kauai the story is that hula came to these islands a very long time ago from Tahiti, but one version says it was a woman named Laka who brought it, and another version says it was brought by a set of twins, male and female, both named Laka.On the Big Island, the most popular story says that hula was invented right here by a human woman named Hopoe, who taught it to her goddess friend, Hi'iaka, who taught it to her elder sister, Pele.Ha'a were usually performed as part of worship in the heiau (temple), under the direction of a kahuna (priest).These dances were often done in conjunction with rituals and ceremonies related to the specific temple and also to specific deities within those temples.
Right away, Laka got up and moved gracefully, acting out silently events they both knew. Only religious men and women could perform the first hulas because Hawaiian dancing was sacred. Some believe it came from the ancient civilization of Mu, some claim it was homegrown, while others trace it to Tahiti or some other foreign land. Ask questions only after you've tried to figure out something yourself." "Hula is not just a dance; hula it is a way of life to which many kumu (teachers) and haumana (students) dedicate their lives to the study of Hula.