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THE simplest, most beautiful legend does not mention the land from which Pele started.

In this her father was Moe-moea-au-lii, the chief who dreamed of trouble. Her mother was Haumea, or Papa, who personified mother earth. Moemoea apparently is not mentioned in any other of the legends. Haumea is frequently named as the mother of Pele, as well as the heroine of many legendary experiences.

Pele's story is that of wander-lust. She was living in a happy home in the presence of her parents, and yet for a long time she was "stirred by thoughts of far-away lands." At last she asked her father to send her away. This meant that he must provide a sea-going canoe with mat sails, sufficiently large to carry a number of persons and food for many days.

"What will you do with your little egg sister?" asked her father.

Pele caught the egg, wrapped it in her skirt to keep it warm near her body, and said that it should always be with her. Evidently in a very short

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time the egg was changed into a beautiful little girt who bore the name Hii-aka-i-ka-poli-o-Pele (Hiiaka-in-the-bosom-of-Pele), the youngest one of the Pele family.

After the care of the helpless one had been provided for, Pele was sent to her oldest brother, Ka-moho-alii, the king of dragons, or, as he was later known in Hawaiian mythology, "the god of sharks." He was a sea-god and would provide the great canoe for the journey. While he was getting all things ready, he asked Pele where she was going. She replied, "I am going to Bola-bola; to Kuai-he-lani; to Kane-huna-moku; then to Moku-mana-mana; then to see a queen, Kaoahi her name and Niihau her island." Apparently her journey would be first to Bola-bola in the Society Islands, then among the mysterious ancestral islands, and then to the northwest until she found Niihau, the most northerly of the Hawaiian group.

The god of sharks prepared his large canoe and put it in the care of some of their relatives, Kane-pu-a-hio-hio (Kane-the-whirlwind), Ke-au-miki (The-strong-current), and Ke-au-ka (Moving-seas).

Pele was carried from land to land by these

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wise boatmen until at last she landed on the island Niihau. Then she sent back the boat to her brother, the shark-god. It is said that after a time he brought all the brothers and sisters to Hawaii.

Pele was welcomed and entertained. Soon she went over to Kauai, the large, beautiful garden island of the Hawaiian group. There is a story of her appearance as a dream maiden before the king of Kauai, whose name was Lohiau, whom she married, but with whom she could not stay until she had found a place where she could build a permanent home for herself and all who belonged to her.

She had a magic digging tool, Pa-oa. When she struck this down into the earth it made a fire-pit. It was with this Pa-oa that she was to build a home for herself and Lohiau. She dug along the lowlands of Kauai, but water drowned the fires she kindled, so she went from island to island but could only dig along the beach near the sea. All her fire-pits were so near the water that they burst out in great explosions of steam and sand, and quickly died, until at last she found Kilauea on the large island of Hawaii. There she built a mighty enduring palace of fire, but her dream marriage was at an end. The little sister Hiiaka, after many adventures, married Lohiau and lived on Kauai.

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Another story says that Pele was the daughter of Kane-hoa-lani and Hina. The oldest and most authoritative legends say that Kane-hoa-lani was her brother and that Hina was the creator of a flood or great tidal wave which drove Pele from place to place over the ocean. This story says that Pele had a husband, Wahioloa, who ran away from her with a sister named Pele-kumu-ka-lani, and that Pele searched the islands of the great ocean as she followed them, but never found them. At last Pele came to Hawaii and escaped the flood by finding a home in Kilauea. In this story she was said to have a son Menehune and a daughter Laka. There is very little foundation for this legend. Wahioloa was a chief, well known in the legends, of a famous family of New Zealand and other South Sea islands. Laka was his son, who cut down trees by day which were set up again at night by the fairies. The Menehunes were the fairy folk of Hawaii. The story of Pele's search for a husband has been widely accepted by foreigners but not by the early Hawaiian writers.

The most authoritative story of the coming of Pele to Hawaii was published in the Hoku-o-ka-Pakipika (Star of the Pacific), in the story of Aukele-nui-aiku, in 1861, and in another Hawaiian paper, Ke Kuokoa, in 1864, and again in 1865. {p. 8} Again and again the legends give Ku-waha-ilo as the father and Haumea as the mother of the Pele family. Hina, is sometimes said to be Ku-waha-ilo's sister in these legends. She quarrelled with him because he devoured all the people. The Hawaiians as a nation, even in their traditions, have never been cannibals, although their legends give many individual instances of cannibalism. The Pele stories say that "Ku-waha-ilo was a cannibal," and "Haumea was a pali [precipice or a prominent part of the earth]."

The Hawaiians, it is safe to say, had no idea of reading nature-thoughts into these expressions, thus making them "nature-myths." They probably did not understand that Ku-waha-ilo might mean destructive earth forces, and Haumea might mean the earth itself from whom Pele, the goddess of fire, and Na-maka-o-ka-hai, the goddess of the sea, were born. It is, however, interesting to note that this is the fact in the legends, and that it was in a conflict between the two sisters that Na-maka-o-ka-hai drove Pele to the Hawaiian Islands.

A greater sorcerer married Na-maka-o-ka-hai. After a time he saw Pele and her beautiful young sister Hiiaka. He took them secretly to be his wives. This sorcerer was Au-kele-nui-a-iku. Au might mean "to swim," and kele "to glide," or "slip smoothly along." The name then might

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mean "the great smoothly swimming son of Iku." He could fly through the heavens, swim through the seas, or run swiftly over the earth. By magic power he conquered enemies, visited strange lands, found the fountain of the water of life, sprinkled that water over his dead brothers, brought them back to life, and did many marvellous deeds. But he could not deliver Pele and Hiiaka from the wrath of their sister. High tides and floods from the seas destroyed Pele's home and lands. Then the elder brother of Pele--Ka-moho-alii, the shark-god-called for all the family to aid Pele. Na-maka-o-ka-hai fought the whole family and defeated them. She broke down their houses and drove them into the ocean. There Ka-moho-alii provided them with the great boat Honua-i-a-kea (The great spread-out world) and carried them away to distant islands.

Na-maka-o-ka-hai went to the highest of all the mythical lands of the ancestors, Nuu-mea-lani (The raised dais of heaven). There she could look over all the seas from Ka-la-kee-nui-a-Kane to Kauai, i.e., from a legendary land in the south to the most northerly part of the Hawaiian Islands. Pele carried her Pa-oa, a magic spade. Wherever they landed she struck the earth, thus opening a crater in which volcanic fires burned. As the smoke rose to the clouds, the angry watching one rushed from Nuu-mea-lani and tried to

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slay the family. Again and again they escaped. Farther and farther from the home land were they driven until they struck far out into the ocean.

Na-maka-o-ka-hai went back to her lookout mountain. After a long time she saw the smoke of earth-fires far away on the island Kauai. Pele had struck her Paoa into the earth, dug a deep pit, and thrown up a large hill known to this day as the Puu-o-Pele (The hill of Pele). It seemed as if an abiding-place had been found.

But the sister came and fought Pele. There is no long account of the battle. Pele was broken and smashed and left for dead. She was not dead, but she left Kauai and went to Oahu to a place near Honolulu, to Moanalua, a beautiful suburb. There she dug a fire-pit. The earth, or rather the eruption of lava, was forced up into a hill which later bore the name Ke-alia-manu (The-bird-white-like-a-salt-bed or The-white-bird). The crater which she dug filled up with salt water and was named Ke-alia-paa-kai (The-white-bed-of-salt, or Salt Lake).

Pele was not able to strike her Paoa down into a mountain side and dig deep for the foundations of her home. She could find fire only in the lowlands near the seashore. The best place on Oahu was just back of Leahi, the ancient Hawaiian name for Diamond Head. Here she threw up a

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great quantity of fire-rock, but at last her fires were drowned by the water she struck below.

Thus she passed along the coast of each island, the family watching and aiding until they came to the great volcano Haleakala.[1] There Pele dug with her Paoa, and a great quantity of lava was thrown out of her fire-pit.

Na-maka-o-ka-hai saw enduring clouds day after day rising with the colors of the dark dense smoke of the underworld, and knew that her sister was still living.

Pele had gained strength and confidence, therefore she entered alone into a conflict unto death.

The battle was fought by the two sisters hand to hand. The conflict lasted for a long time along the western slope of the mountain Hale-a-ka-la. Na-maka-o-ka-hai tore the body of Pele and broke her lava bones into great pieces which lie to this day along the seacoast of the district called Kahiki-nui. The masses of broken lava are called Na-iwi-o-Pele (The bones of Pele).

Pele was thought to be dead and was sorely mourned by the remaining brothers and sisters. Na-maka-o-ka-hai went off toward Nuu-mea-lani rejoicing in the destruction of her hated enemy. By and by she looked back over the wide seas. The high mountains of the island Hawaii,

[1. Hale-a-ka-la must be classed as an active volcano from evidences of prehistoric fires although long extinct, but the author gives these stories in another book, "Legends of Maui."]

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snow covered, lay in the distance. But over the side of the mountain known as Mauna Loa she saw the uhane, the spirit form of Pele in clouds of volcanic smoke tinged red from the flames of raging fire-pits below.

She passed on to Nuu-mea-lani, knowing that she could never again overcome the spirit of Pele, the goddess of fire.

The Pele family crossed the channel between the islands and went to the mountain side, for they also had seen the spirit form of Pele. They served their goddess sister, caring for her fires and pouring out the destructive rivers of lava at her commands.

As time passed they became a part of the innumerable multitude of au-makuas, or ghost-gods, of the Pit of Pele, worshipped especially by those whose lives were filled with burning anger against their fellow-men.

The acceptable offerings to Pele were fruits, flowers, garlands (or leis), pigs (especially the small black pig of tender flesh and delicate flavor), chickens, fish, and men. When a family sent a part of the dead body of one of the household, it was with the prayer that the spirit might become an au-makua, and especially an unihipili au-makua. This meant a ghost-god, powerful enough to aid the worshipper to pray other people to death.

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Pele is said to have become impatient at times with her brothers and sisters. Then she would destroy their pleasure resorts in the valleys. She would send a flood of lava in her anger and burn everything up.

Earthquakes came when Pele stamped the floor of the fire-pit in anger.

Flames thrusting themselves through cracks in a breaking lava crust were the fire spears of Pele's household of au-makuas or ghost-gods.

Pele's voice was explosive when angry. Therefore it was called "pu." When the natives first heard guns fired they said that the voice of the gun was "pu." It was like the explosions of gas in volcanic eruptions, and it seemed as if the foreigners had persuaded Pele to assist them in any trouble with the natives.

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Next: III. Pele and the Owl Ghost-God