As with all Maori Hui, the Hura Kohatu usually commences with a Pohiri.
Preparing the Stone
After the stone has been placed on the grave it is covered until the Hura Kohatu. If the stone is a few days early, it is usually covered with black polythene and on the day of the Hura Kohatu the "Unveiling Cloth" is placed on the stone and then the polythene is removed.
The Unveiling Cloth
Some whanau have a korowai (cloak) or a similar cloth that is used at all of the whanau Hura Kohatu.
For whanau who do not have a whanau unveiling cloth and wish to make one, choose something appropriate to reflect the person and whanau.
Who does the unveiling?
The people who do the unveiling itself are the people that the whanau feels are most appropriate, due to their relationship with the deceased.
For example, at the Hura Kohatu of my mokopuna (grandchild) who died at six months old, the unveiling was down with her brother on one side and her father on the other side.
At the Hura Kohatu of my father, I was the one and only who unveiled the stone, as I am his only daughter.
The cloth can be unveiled in two ways, forward, so that it comes in front of the stone, or backward so that it goes behind the stone.
If the cloth comes forward it means that is available to be requested for the next whanau Kura Kohatu. The cloth usually goes forward if there has been another death between the time of the person whose unveiling it is and the whanau have asked for it. It is then formally requested.
If the cloth goes backward it means that the cloth is not up for request or there has not been another death in the whanau. Some whanau make new cloths for each Hura Kohatu and therefore the cloth always goes backwards at those whanau Hura Kohatu.
During the pohiri, it is set as to who speaks. At the urupa (cemetery) others usually speak to say their final farewalls, similar to the tangihanga.