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Last Updated: Thursday, September 04, 2003

Hawaiian Gods


Akua Ha'iaka Haumea Kanaloa Kanaloa has a very extensive set of sites on the web. Most of them are collected in one place (about half way down the page) at: Kanaloa

Kane Kapua Ki'i Kupua Ku Laka Lono Pele Associated with Pele are the 4 snow covered peaks: Lilinoe,Waiau, Kahoupokane and Poliahu.
Poliahu has an extensive story associated with Pele. Poliahu liked to play with mortals along the eastern peaks of the mountain Mauna Kea.

One day, it is said, Poliahu and her friends had come down from Mauna Kea to a grassy sloping hillside south of Hamakua for holua sledding.
Pele loved he'eholua, the exhilarating race that took place on sleds with runners set only six inches apart. A narrow piece of matting attached to sticks lashed to the runners provided a place for the racer to rest his chest. A racer held the holua sled in his right hand as he ran pell-mell to the crest of the downhill track, hurled himself upon the sled, grabbing a hand-hold on the left side of the sled, as well, and then plummeting down-slope toward the ocean.On this day,

Pele appeared in the guise of a beautiful young woman and the unsuspecting Poliahu welcomed her to join in their sport. As the ground grew hotter and hotter, Poliahu realized the beautiful stranger was none other than Pele, her arch enemy. Pele called forth fire from the depths of Mauna Loa, sending fire fountains after Poliahu as the terrified goddess fled to the summit. Red hot lava licked at the edges of Poliahu's white mantle, but she grasped her robe and managed to escape.

Regaining her strength, she flung her white mantle over the mountain peak. The grounds trembled, fire licked the heavens, and the snow goddess unleashed snow from frozen clouds overhead. Pele sent rivers of lava down the hillside, which cooled and hardened so quickly it choked the yawning chasms that spewed the molten rock and drove the streams of lava underground into Kilauea and Mauna Loa, but not before the land masses that comprise Laupahoehoe and Onomea were formed.

From time to time, Pele continues to hurl fire and lava from Mauna Loa and Kilauea, but legend says that Poliahu always gains the upper hand in these battles. She and the other snow goddesses keep the mountain tops barren under their icy mantles, allowing melting streams to form the rivers that feed the fertile valleys and give the Hamakua Coast and North Kohala a green, misty surrealistic beauty.


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