In ancient Hawaiian mythology, Laka is known as the goddess of hula and the goddess of the forests. She is the progenitor of hula as a sacred ritual, a form of worship, as storytelling and a spiritual practice. Hula was, and remains, a way of preserving and sharing stories to pass them on to future generations. As the goddess of the forests, there are many plants said to be sacred to Laka. Maile, hala pepe, `ie`ie, ki, `ōhia lehua, `ōhelo and palapalai are the embodiment of her in nature, her kino lau. In this painting, Laka is wearing a maile lei to symbolize the umbilical cord which ties her to the dancer, the storyteller. To this day, many who dance hula pray to Laka to hoʻoulu, or inspire their performance.