Balladeer’s Blog continues its examination of the grand and exciting Hawaiian epic about the goddesses Pele and Hi’iaka.
The goddess Hi’iaka and her traveling companion – the mortal woman Wahine – arrived in Kapua on the island of Maui, intent on finding a ship to take them on to Molokai as their quest to reach Kaua’i continued.
The people of Kapua were so charmed by Hi’iaka’s bearing and beauty that they begged her to stay with them to make Kapua even more highly regarded than it already was. Hi’iaka politely refused, feeling obligated to complete the mission she had undertaken on behalf of her sister, the fire and volcano goddess Pele.
Before too many days had passed a ship set out for Molokai bearing Hi’iaka and Wahine as honored passengers. The passage was uneventful and the ladies took their leave of the crew upon arrival. While traveling along the beach in Molokai the ladies began hearing much discussion of a deadly pack of the giant lizard-monsters called mo’o.
The pack was led by a female named Kikipua and terrorized the entire Halawa Valley region of the island. The more that people encouraged Hi’iaka to avoid Halawa Valley at all costs the more determined the goddess became to take the rout through that valley. She led her friend Wahine in that direction.
As the two beauties made their way along they encountered two emaciated women moaning and groaning in agony. The women told Hi’iaka and Wahine that the mo’o of Halawa Valley had devoured their husbands and children and so they were letting themselves starve to death to join them in death. Hi’iaka felt that was exceedingly foolish and journeyed on, disgustedly refusing to aid the dying women.
Eventually the ladies made their way through Halawa Valley without encountering any mo’o. Little did they know the pack leader Kikipua had ordered her subordinate monsters to stay with her and quietly follow Hi’iaka and Wahine at a distance. When the opportunity arose Kikipua planned to spring a surprise attack or trap on them.
At the edge of Halawa Valley Hi’iaka and Wahine began making their way along the stony, precipitous cliffs along that part of Molokai’s coastline. After several hours of slowly working their way along, with nothing but jagged rocks and pounding surf waiting below if they fell, the travelers came to a wide canyon.
The only way across was a long thin bridge that led to the bushes on the other side. Wahine was just about to set foot on that bridge when Hi’iaka stopped her. The goddess’ divine senses had detected something amiss. On closer inspection the “bridge” turned out to be the extended tongue of the mo’o Kikipua, who was hidden in the bushes on the other side of the canyon.
Her trap foiled, Kikipua retracted her long tongue and emerged from the bushes, roaring defiance at Hi’iaka. That defiance ended abruptly as the goddess caused her skirt to supernaturally stretch across the chasm that separated her from the mo’o pack leader. When Hi’iaka and Wahine had made their way across Hi’iaka let her skirt return to normal size.
Kikipua unexpectedly fled, prompting the astonished Hi’iaka and Wahine to pursue her. Our heroines did not know it yet, but this was Kikipua’s backup trap: if Hi’iaka and Wahine made it across the chasm Kikipua would flee, leading the duo into an ambush by the other members of the pack.
With growing panic, Kikipua failed to find the other mo’o in her pack. She led Hi’iaka and Wahine a merry chase along the perilous rock cliffs overlooking the ocean but her anticipated reenforcements were nowhere to be found. Eventually the horrified monster realized what had happened.
Typical of packs of such evil creatures, this pack of mo’o had many internal feuds and struggles for dominance. Kikipua had stolen Oloku’i, the husband of Papalau. Papalau’s resentment must have been building and she now had double-crossed Kikipua. Papalau had abandoned her and led the rest of the pack far away from the cliffsides so that she could have complete revenge on Kikipua – with her dead Papalau would have her mate back AND be the new leader of this pack of monsters.
Eventually Hi’iaka cornered Kikipua and in the intense, purely physical battle that followed the goddess triumphed over her mo’o opponent. Hi’iaka slew the subdued Kikipua and from then on the cliffside region was known by that dead mo’o’s name.
With no more adversaries in the vicinity, the pair of travelers resumed their journey. ++
I’LL CONTINUE THE STORY SOON. CHECK BACK ONCE OR TWICE A WEEK FOR UPDATES.
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