Legends of Hi'iaka

November 25, 2019

Legends of Hi'iaka

In Hawaiian mythology,Hi'iaka is a daughter of Haumea and Kāne. She is also known as being the youngest and favored sister of Hawaiʻi’s volcano goddess, Pele. One day,Hi'iaka was told to run errands for Pele – she was told to get Lihoʻau, Peleʻs dream man. The journey was known for being long and dangerous, and therefore Pa`uopalapalai (the loyal retainer to the Pele family) was chosen to accompanyHi'iaka.

When the two women started their journey to leave Kīlauea, they came across Wahine `Oma`o who made an offer to Pele. She had decided to join the two women on their journey. The three women traveled through Puna Ma Kai and ended up meeting the princess, Papulehu. The princess wanted the women to stay with her and be her best freinds. She honored Hiʻiaka as a guest and welcomed them with a feast and hula dancing. However,Hi'iaka knew she had to complete her journey for Pele, so Papulehu decided to join them.

The three women continued on until they encountered the evil dragon known as Panaʻewa.Hi'iaka called upon all of her ancestors for guidance, and Pa`uopalae and Wahine `Oma`o tried to help as much as they could. But Papulehu had neglected her prayers and had a hard time distinguishing between safety and Panaʻewa’s tricks. She was so frightened that she ran into a tree stump only to find it was one of Panaʻewa’s disguises! Panaʻewa eats Papulehu but luckilyHi'iaka and her companions were able to escape.

The women end up in Hilo where they were stopped by a pair of moʻo sisters near the Wailuku River. They were responsible for tricking people into thinking they were gods and often demanded gifts of food to cross a dangerous river. Hi`iaka could tell the moʻo’s trickery and called them out for what they were. From there, Hi`iaka completed her journey and in return, Hawai’i became safe for travelers!



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