~ Hula: The Soul of Hawaii by Tracey Lakainapali A lot of the present day dances are based on this Hi'iaka/ Laka epics and schools were begun to honor Laka as well as temples that were dedicated to her.
Until the early twentieth century, ritual and prayer surrounded all aspects of hula.
There was a graduation feast featuring a pig and, lastly, the dismantling of the altar followed by the ending of the kapu.
The ritual hula dance illustrates, dramatizes and complement the lyrics or comments on the mele.
A head pupil, selected by the students, was in charge of discipline.
The hula students danced on a platform with an altar dedicated to Laka, decorated with vines and flowers.
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.