Hi’iaka

January 4th, 2008 by sabrina

Hi’iaka is the Hawaiian Goddess of the islands and nature. She is the sister of Pele, Goddess of fire and volcanoes. Although Hi’iaka was conceived as an egg in Tahiti, Pele’s original home, she was born in Hawaii after being carried there by Pele. She is therefore sometimes called Hi’iaka-i-ka-poli-o-Pele, which means “cradled in the bosom of Pele”.

Hi’iaka loved her sister Pele, despite her temper tantrums. Only one incident marred their relationship. Pele had seduced a young chief named Lohiau who lived in Kauai. After returning to her home at Kilauea, Pele wished to have the chief come live with her, and she asked Hi’iaka to go and bring him to her. She warned Hi’iaka not to fall in love with Lohi’au, and to return within 40 days. Hi’iaka asked Pele to watch over her gardens and her friend, Hopoe, who lived there.

Hi’iaka’s journey to Kauai was long and dangerous. When she finally arrived, she found that the young chief had died from heartache, thinking that Pele would not return for him. Hi’iaka used her magic to bring Lohi’au back to life, and returned with him to Pele. Unfortunately, she had been gone for more than 40 days, and Pele had grown jealous and angry. She burned down Hi’iaka’s gardens, with Hopoe trapped inside.

Hi’iaka was devastated by the loss of her friend and so mad at Pele that she turned to Lohi’au and kissed him. This made Pele even angrier, and she sent waves of lava to kill them. Hi’iaka was not harmed, but Lohi’au died, again. Hi’iaka, realizing that she loved him, went to the underworld and brought him back to life for the second time. The two then returned to Kauai, out of Pele’s reach, and lived out their lives together.

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