E Laka ē, hoʻoulu ʻia.
O Laka, inspire us.
Laka’s Mana is Ho’oulu (making to grow). Following Laka’s inspiration transforms hula into a magnificent dance.
Hula is an essential part of life in Hawaii. Hula is a sacred ritual, a form of worship, a spiritual practice and discipline. Respectfully the dancers follow strict traditions when they pick the plants for their costumes and the Hula Kuahu (altar). Laka is also Goddess of the forest. Her Mana inspires the forest to grow and thrive. Honoring Laka, we humbly ask her permission before we enter the sacred forest and pick the plants.
Each plant enforces the connection between Laka and the dancer.
To invoke Laka’s inspiration, the Hula Kuahu (altar) and dancer are adorned with her Kinolaus (many forms):
Maile symbolizes the umbilical cord which ties the dancer to Laka.
The wood of the Lehua tree is male and Lehua, the flower is female. They create a union between the masculine and feminine and ‘allow the two to dance’.
Pili, the clinging grass is placed on the altar, so that all of Laka’s Ha’awinas (lessons) will cling to the dancers.
The sweet smell of ‘Iliahi (sandalwood) inspires the performance of the dancer as well as the audience.
The spirit of Laka dances through the dancer. The dancer and Laka become one, dancing inspired hula.
Laka means gentle, docile, attract. Many legends tell about Laka’s fruitfulness. She is often referred to as the Goddess of Love. As the ‘Giver of All Things’ ancient chants ask Laka to attract love and wealth.
E Laka ē
O Goddess Laka
Pūpū weuweu e Laka ē
O wildwood bouquet, O Laka
E Laka i ka leo
O Laka, queen of the voice
E Laka i ka loaʻa
O Laka, giver of gifts
E Laka i ka waiwai
O Laka, giver of bounty
E Laka i nā mea a pau.
O Laka, giver of all things.
The island of Molokai is said to be the birthplace of hula. According to legend, Laka journeyed through the islands, sharing the dance with all who wished to learn. Her graceful movements channeled spiritual meaning and brought to life the history, traditions and genealogy of the Hawaiian people.
Laka gave birth to the Hawaiian hula on the sacred hill Puu Nana in Molokai. It is said that the remains of Laka herself were secretly hidden beneath this hill.
Laka’s inspiring Mana teaches us many valuable Ha’awinas (lessons). A truly great performance in any area of life is the result of a person’s discipline, positive feelings, and Aloha spirit.
‘Laka beckons you to enter her sacred realm so that your beauty can unfold and grow.’