- By Nathaniel Bright Emerson

Pele and Hiiaka: A Myth from Hawaii

  • Title: Pele and Hiiaka: A Myth from Hawaii
  • Author: Nathaniel Bright Emerson
  • ISBN: 9780976450801
  • Page: 234
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pele and Hiiaka A Myth from Hawaii In ancient Hawaiian chants and legends Pele the volcano goddess is often described as passionate volatile and capricious She was born to the female spirit Haumea who like all other important Haw

    In ancient Hawaiian chants and legends, Pele the volcano goddess, is often described as passionate, volatile, and capricious She was born to the female spirit Haumea, who, like all other important Hawaiian gods and goddesses, was descended from the supreme spirits Papa or Earth Mother and Wakea, Sky Father According to legend, Pele was among the first to venture to HawaiIn ancient Hawaiian chants and legends, Pele the volcano goddess, is often described as passionate, volatile, and capricious She was born to the female spirit Haumea, who, like all other important Hawaiian gods and goddesses, was descended from the supreme spirits Papa or Earth Mother and Wakea, Sky Father According to legend, Pele was among the first to venture to Hawaii with members of her clan her esteemed uncle Lonomakua, keeper of the sacred fire sticks and eldest brother Kamohoali i, the great navigator Among the clan is the favored sister Hi iaka Hi iaka i ka poli o Pele , who is carried on the long journey and held close to Pele s bosom in the form of an egg Arriving in Hawaii and after many trials, the clan settles in Puna on the island of Hawaii and Pele creates her home in the fire pit of Halemaumau She then falls into a deep slumber and dreams of far off Kauai and the handsome prince Lohiau Hi iaka in the meantime, roams the Puna countryside and is enchanted by the many Lehua groves It is in Puna, near the sea that Hi iaka befriends Hopoe and is taught the ancient hula Pele awakens from her deep sleep and beckons to Hi iaka Always the obedient one, Hi iaka complies with her older sister s request to fetch her dream lover Lohiau from Kauai and to return him to Hawaii Island to be her husband As Hi iaka willingly undertakes the journey, which proves to be fraught with many obstacles and danger, so begins the epic tale of duty, honor, death, revival, passion, revenge, and finally, reconciliation.

    1 thought on “Pele and Hiiaka: A Myth from Hawaii

    1. Dr. Nathaniel Emerson assembled many different strands of this myth and ended up with Hawaii's own answer to Homer's Odyssey. Emerson was a physician who became fluent in ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi, and he often translated the works of esteemed Native Hawaiian historian and friend David Malo. This is Emerson's last work, written in 1915. An absolutely stunning tale told with the rich literary language of the early 20th century and supernatural scenes that bring to mind the Holy Bible.

    2. I read this after reading the synopsis of the myth on . I liked the story so much that I was eager to read a proper version of it. Unfortunately the original story is just about the strongest aspect of this volume. Emerson, although eloquent and erudite, is not a particularly good story-teller and frequently breaks up the flow of the story with extensive footnotes and traditional songs (presented in both English and the original dialect). Although I knew the basic story I didn't come away from t [...]

    3. A wonderful book for anyone who is interested in hula or learning about the essence of the hawaiian people. It is a piece of history written just at the time where the information was about to be lost forever in the abyss of the missionary propaganda of the day.These are chants that tell the story of Pele, Hi'iaka and Lohiau dictated directly from the hawaiian people just after there was a ban placed on performing these dances. Thankfully this son of a missionary had the foresight to write as mu [...]

    4. I did not know the myth before I read this book. I won't attempt to tell it because I know I can't do it justice. Emerson was lucky enough to live in Hawaii during the second half of the nineteenth century. He was a physician with an interest in Hawaiian language and art and he recorded a number of separate works that when collated became an epic about these two sisters who in the pull between them create and destroy and create. It really is an extraordinary story. You should read it.

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