Akalā is an incredible and intense young woman. She is on her way to college now and I know she will do amazing things with her life. Her name is poetic in itself; translating roughly to mean the pinkish sky that appears before the sun rises.
The following images are from this special luau. The moon was full that night and the energy of the singing and dancing and the presence of all the guests was something to behold.
These are ipus which are made from large gourds. They are used as a percussion instrument.
Some of the dancers "backstage" getting ready and some last minute instructions.
This is the name of Akalā's halau and the banner that was made for her.
Part of the requirement of becoming a kumu hula is to make your own instrument. This is what Akalā made: a pahu or drum. She named it, "Ho'oheno" which means to love, to cherish.
There was a good handful of women who were really decked up; this woman is a perfect example. I really would've loved to have photographed all of them, but I felt intrusive as it was asking permission to take this picture.