Kamapua‘a the “Hog Child”

October 07, 2019

Kamapua‘a the “Hog Child”

For centuries, we have heard of mythical creatures roaming among us – as the romans believed in the centaur, the Hawaiians believed in Kamapua‘a. He was a demi-god – half man, half hog, yet his physical appearance remains a mystery. Some say he had a hog’s body with a human head, other’s say he could shape-shift between a man and a hog. As a man he was covered in tattoos and wore a cloak similar to that of an ali‘i, but instead of being covered in feathers, it was a cloak of a gutted pig. There are many Native Hawaiian legends involving the infamous rascal we know as Kamapua‘a, but one of the most intriguing are his stories of lust. 

Kamapua‘a was known for letting his human-like tendencies get the best of him, he was constantly chasing after lovely women. On one occasion, Kamapua‘a was at the base of Kamo‘ili‘ili when saw two beautiful women journey down to a stream flowing from Manoa Valley. He called out to the ladies who looked back at him in disgust, horrified by his pig-like stature. To Kamapua‘a’s surprise, these women were goddesses. After seeing him, they transformed themselves and melted into the earth. Outraged by their reactions of him, Kamapua‘a transformed himself into a great hog, digging into the soil of the goddesses. He created deep tunnels, descending into the dirt trying to catch the women. The goddesses then transformed into a flood, violently pushing him away creating new springs of life from the destruction. 

To this day, these goddesses are known for leaving a trail that have supplied the people of Kamo‘ili‘ili for many generations and are infamously called the “Wells of Kamapua‘a.” 

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