Hawaii History and Legends – Pele: Goddess of Fire
The legends and history of Hawaii are as important as anything, and the cultural influence of ancient Hawaii resonates within the islands to this day. The importance of these stories is felt within destinations all over Hawaii and learning about these legends is always a great addition to a trip here. At some of the most incredible sites, and even at some sites that seem to be just regular stops on a guided tour, history is deep and plays a vital role in the day-to-day life of Hawaii.
The place where this probably the most true is at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Mt. Kilauea, the only currently erupting volcano in Hawaii, and the place where the ties to ancient Hawaii and the creation of the islands is the most visible. Within the park, naturally occurring destruction is found everywhere you look, and the life of the volcano is prominent, from extinct lava flows to budding life of plants that thrive on the volcanic soil.
But it is the legend of Pele that is the most important at the volcano, and knowing the legend of Pele brings the volcano to life, even prior to your visit.
According to Hawaiian mythology, Madam Pele lives inside Mt. Kilauea. Pele is the Hawaiian Goddess of Fire, and is responsible for the volcanic activity of Hawaii. Born in Tahiti to Haumea and Kane Milohai, she was banished by her father because of her extraordinary temper. Aided by her brothers in a great canoe, Pele sailed from Tahiti in search of her home, finding Hawaii and establishing residence in the uninhabited islands. During her journey, Pele fought with her sister, Namakaokahai, the Sea Goddess, eventually resulting in a fight on Kauai, during which Namakaokahai defeated Pele, leaving her for dead. Pele would recover and fled the island, taking refuge on Oahu where she dug many fire pits with her digging stick, creating Diamond Head. Pele would then move onto Maui, where she dug Haleakala, but soon her sister discovered that she was still alive, and another battle ensued near Hana. Again, Pele lost the battle, and as a result of her death, the mountain Kaiwaiopele (“the bones of Pele) was formed. With her death, Pele established her permanent residence on the Big Island, creating Mt. Kilauea, and the rest is history.
Pele is responsible for many events surrounding the volcano, and the eruptions that occur are her doing. Her destruction can be seen at the extinct lava flows around the National Park, and visitors that disgrace her home by removing lava rocks are met with bad luck. The United States Postal Service receives packages each and every day containing lava rocks that have been removed from the volcano, further establishing the influence of Pele.
Hawaii Discount features a number of thrilling Volcano Tours for your vacation, including Inter-Island Tours from Oahu that include airfare to the Big Island. Don’t miss out on your chance to see pay respect to Pele, and visit Hawaii’s most active volcano during your trip to the Islands.
Due to the high volume of visitors traveling to Hawaii year round, our Hawaii tours and activities sell out quickly. In many cases, tours sell out weeks or months in advance. To ensure your spots on tour, we recommend reserving your tours today. Call our office or book online to take advantage of our low price guarantee today.