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"Moving back and forth in the wind
Softly moving in the quiet breeze
Rocking by the side of the sea."

--Ancient Hopoe Chant.

ON the southeastern seacoast of the island Hawaii, near a hamlet called Keaau, is a large stone which was formerly so balanced that it could be easily moved. One of the severe earthquake shocks of the last century overthrew the stone and it now lies a great black mass of lava rock near the seashore.

This stone in the long ago was called by the natives Hopoe, because Hopoe, the graceful dancer of Puna who taught Hiiaka, the youngest sister of Pele, how to dance, was changed into this rock. The story of the jealousy and anger of Pele, which resulted in overwhelming Hopoe in a flood of lava and placing her in the form of a balanced rock to dance by the sea to the music of the eternally moving surf, is a story which must be kept on record for the lovers of Hawaiian folk-lore.

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Pele had come from the islands of the South seas and had found the Hawaiian Islands as they are at the present day. After visiting all the other islands she settled in Puna, on the large island Hawaii. There she had her long sleep in which she went to the island Kauai and found her lover Lohiau, whom she promised to send for that he might come to her home in the volcano Kilauea.

Pele called her sisters one by one and told them to go to Kauai, but they feared the uncertainty of Pele's jealousy and wrath and refused to go. At last she called for Hiiaka, but she was down by the seashore with her friend Hopoe. There in a beautiful garden spot grew the fine food plants of the old Hawaiians. There were ohias[1] (apples) and the brilliant red, feathery blossoms of the lehua trees, and there grew the hala, from which sweet-scented skirts and mats were woven.

Hopoe was very graceful and knew all the dances of the ancient people. Hour after hour she taught Hiiaka the oldest hulas (dances) known among the Hawaiians until Hiiaka excelled in all beautiful motions of the human form. Hopoe taught Hiiaka how to make leis (wreaths) from the most fragrant and splendid flowers. Together they went out into the white-capped waves bathing and swimming

[1. Ohia ai = Jambosa Malacrensis. Ohia Ha = Syzygium Sandwicense.]

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and seeking the fish of the coral caves. Thus they learned to have great love for each other. The girl from the south seas promised to care for the Hawaiian girl whose home was in the midst of volcanic fires, and the Hawaiian gave pledge to aid and serve as best she could.

Together they were making life happy when Pele called for Hiiaka. Out from the fumes of the crater, echoing from hill to hill through Puna, rustling the leaves of the forest trees, that insistent voice came to the younger sister.

Hiiaka by her magic power quickly passed from the seashore to the volcano. Some of the native legends say that Pele had slept near the seashore where she had commenced to build a volcanic home for herself and her sisters, and that while longing for the coming of her lover Lohiau she had dug feverishly, throwing up hills and digging some of the many pit craters which are famous in the district of Puna.

At last she determined to visit Ailaau, the god residing in Kilauea, but he had fled from her and she had taken his place and found a home in the earthquake-shaken pit of molten lava, leaping fire, and overwhelming sulphur smoke. Here she felt that her burning love could wait no longer and she must send for Lohiau.

To her came Hiiaka fresh from the clear waters of the sea and covered with leis made by her

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friend Hopoe. For a few minutes she stood fore her sisters. Then untwisting the wreaths one by one she danced until all the household seemed to be overcome by her grace and gladness. She sent the influence of her good-will deep into the hearts of her sisters.

Pele alone looked on with scowling dissatisfied face. As soon as she could she said to Hiiaka: "Go far away; go to Kauai; get a husband for us, and bring him to Hawaii. Do not marry him. Do not even embrace him. He is tabu to you. Go forty days only--no longer for going or coming back."

Hiiaka looked upon the imperious goddess of fire and said: "That is right. I go after your husband but I lay my charge upon you: You must take care of my lehua forest and not permit it to be injured. You may eat all other places of ours, but you must not touch my own lehua grove, my delight. You will be waiting here. Anger will arise in you. You will destroy inland: you will destroy toward the sea; but you must not touch my friend--my Hopoe. You will eat Puna with our burning wrath, but you must not go near Hopoe. This is my covenant with you, O Pele."

Pele replied: ''This is right; I will care for your forest and your friend. Go you for our husband." As Pele had charged Hiiaka so had

{p. 91} Hiiaka, laid her commandment on Pele. Hiiaka, like the other sisters, knew how uncertain Pele was in all her moods and how suddenly and unexpectedly her wrath would bring destruction upon anything appearing to oppose her. Therefore she laid upon Pele the responsibility of caring for and protecting Hopoe. This was ceremonial oath-taking between the two.

Hiiaka rose to prepare for the journey, but Pele's impatience at every moment's delay was so great that she forced Hiiaka away without food or extra clothing. Hiiaka slowly went forth catching only a magic pa-u, or skirt, which had the death-dealing power of flashing lightning.

As she climbed the walls of the crater she looked down on her sisters and chanted:

"The traveller is ready to go for the loved one.
The husband of the dream.
I stand, I journey while you remain,
O women with bowed heads.
Oh my lehua forest-inland at Kailu,
The longing traveller journeys many days
For the lover of the sweet dreams.
    For Lohiau ipo."--Ancient Hiiaka Chant.

When Pele heard this chant from the forgiving love of her little sister she relented somewhat and gave Hiiaka a portion of her divine power with which to wage battle against the demons and dragons and sorcerers innumerable whom

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she would meet in her journey, and also sent Pauopalae, the woman of supernatural power, who cared for the ferns of all kinds around the volcano, to be her companion.

As Hiiaka went up to the highlands above the volcano she looked down over Puna. Smoke from the volcano fell toward the sea, making dark the forest along the path to Keaau, where Hopoe dwelt. Hiiaka, with a heavy heart, went on her journey, fearing that this smoke might be prophetic of the wrath of the goddess of fire visited at the suggestion of some sudden jealousy or suspicion upon Hopoe and her household.

What the Hawaiians call mana, or supernatural power able to manifest itself in many ways, had come upon Hiiaka. She found this power growing within her as she overcame obstacle after obstacle in the progress of her journey. Thus Hiiaka from time to time as she passed over the mountains of the different islands was able to look back over the dearly loved land of Puna.

At last she saw the smoke, which had clouded the forests along the way to the home of her friend, grow darker and blacker and then change into the orange hues of outbreaking fire. She felt Pele's unfaithfulness and chanted:

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"Yellow grows the smoke of Ka-lua (the crater)
Turning heavily toward the sea.
Turning against my aikane (bosom friend),
Coming near to my loved one,
Rising up--straight up
And going down from the pit."

After many days had passed and she had found Lohiau. she had another vision of Puna and saw a great eruption of lava making desolate the land. There had been many hindrances to the progress of Hiiaka and she had been slow. The waiting and impatient goddess of fire became angry with her messenger and hurled lava from the pit crater down into the forests which she had promised to protect. Hiiaka chanted:

"The smoke bends over Kaliu.
I thought my lehuas were tabu.
The birds of fire are eating them up.
They are picking my lehuas
Until they are gone."

Then from that far-off island of Kauai she looked over her burning forest toward the sea and again chanted:

"O my friend of the steep ridges above Keaau,
My friend who made garlands
Of the lehua blossoms of Kaliu,
Hopoe is driven away to the sea--
The sea of Lanahiku."

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Fiercer and more devouring were thc lava floods hurled out over the forest so loved Hiiaka. Heavier were the earthquake shocks shaking all the country around the volcano. Then Hiiaka bowed her head and said:

Puna is shaking in the wind,
Shaking is the hala grove of Keaau,
Tumbling are Haena and Hopoe,
Moving is the land--moving is the sea."

Thus by her spirit-power she looked back to Hawaii and saw Puna devastated and the land covered by the destructive floods of lava sent out by Pele.

Hopoe was the last object of Pele's anger at her younger sister, but there was no escape. The slow torrent of lava surrounded the beach where Hopoe waited death. She placed the garlands Hiiaka had loved over her head and shoulders. She wore the finest skirt she had woven from lauhala leaves. She looked out over the death-dealing seas into which she could not flee, and then began the dance of death.

There Pele's fires caught her but did not devour her. The angry goddess of fire took away her human life and gave her goblin power. Pele changed Hopoe into a great block of lava and balanced it on the seashore. Thus Hopoe was able to dance when the winds blew or the earth

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shook or some human hand touched her and disturbed her delicate poise. it is said that for centuries she has been the dancing stone of Puna.

Hiiaka fulfilled her mission patiently and faithfully, bringing Lohiau even from a grave in which he had been placed back to life and at last presenting him before Pele although all along the return journey she was filled with bitterness because of the injustice of Pele in dealing death to Hopoe.

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Next: XIII. Hiiaka's Battle With Demons