Hawaiian tale – Pele

Pele is the goddess of fire, lightning, wind and volcanoes and the creator of the Hawaiian Islands.


Being in Hawaii for 10 days, we opened up ourselves to local tales and cultures. Hawaiians are pretty close to the nature that brings them medicine, food and spirituality.
We spent a couple days in the Hawaiian Volcanoes National Park and we learnt about the Volcanoes Goddess: Pele.

Her poetic name, Ka wahine ‘ai honua, means the woman who devours the land.
Her story and the fact she’s still quite alive in the Hawaiian culture was fascinating to us and we wanted to know more about this tale…


“Ancient traditions about her reveal an impetuous nature. At times gentle and loving, but always jealous and unpredictable, capable of sudden fury and great violence”


Pele is one of the 6 daughters and 7 sons born to Haumea, an ancient earth goddess and Kane Milohai, creator of the sky, earth and upper heavens, in Honua-Mea, part of Tahiti.Pele Siblings

Pele’s older sister, sea goddess, feared that Pele’s ambition would affect their homeland so, one day, she kicked her away.

Homeless, Pele had to find another home.

With the help of one of her brothers, king of the sharks, her younger sister Hi’iaka, patroness of the Hula dancers and some other siblings, she made her way in a canoe to the Hawaiian Islands.
Pele digging





She would have to dig deep in the earth to make a home big enough for her and her siblings. The chosen place would have to be deep enough so that Pele never reaches the ocean where her older sister reigned.






She found the perfect place in Big Island after having dug all over the Hawaiian Islands, forming the many volcanoes we can still admire today. Her home is believed to be the fire pit called Halema’uma’o crater at the summit caldera of Kilauea, one of the most active volcanoes.

Still nowadays, it is believed that you should pray Pele and respect her place, otherwise you could be victim of her anger. Her hair could become burning lava and she could chase you to the ocean in this form, or let you die in her volcano rocks desert.



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