Following the extraordinary response to my two articles on Hawaiian gods and goddesses I decided to start periodic entries on some of their other deities. For my first article on Hawaiian mythology click here: https://glitternight.com/2011/02/20/the-top-eleven-deities-in-hawaiian-mythology/
And for the second article click here: https://glitternight.com/2011/03/02/eleven-more-deities-from-hawaiian-mythology-2/
INANEA – Not to be confused with the similarly- named Sumerian goddess Inanna, this lizard goddess was the ancestress and matriarch of all the Hawaiian lizard deities, collectively called mo’o. Inanea ruled over the many lesser mo’o just as the god Kamoho ruled over the many lesser shark gods.
In myths she often appears as a human-sized lizard to a warrior in the wild. If the warrior is capable of “slaying” the lizard, when he cuts open the presumed carcass, Inanea emerges from it as a beautiful woman and seduces him. If the warrior is slain by Inanea in her lizard form she eats him.
She was said to be the first born of the children the god Kane had with the goddess Haumea, which would make her an older sister of the fire goddess Pele. Inanea’s grandson is the semi-divine hero Aukele, whom she aids in his many adventures. In a separate myth she also protects the heroine Ha’inakolo until she finds a suitor worthy of marriage. Chiefesses would often pray to Inanea.