Balladeer’s Blog continues its examination of the grand and exciting Hawaiian epic about the goddesses Pele and Hi’iaka.
Hi’iaka and her two mortal companions – the woman Wahine and Prince Lohiau, the intended groom of Pele – departed from Haena in a double-boat. They headed west around the island of Kauai and in some versions of this tale Hi’iaka left the vessel at one point, planning to rendezvous with Lohiau and Wahine at Mana.
On her inland detour Hi’iaka said a formal goodbye to another relative of her and Pele – the mountain god Pohaku. From there she traveled on foot through the sandy domain of the Menehune, the Hawaiian equivalents of elves and dwarves. The Menehune were delighted to see the goddess and accompanied her to the beach at Mana.
Hi’iaka rejoined Lohiau and Wahine in the boat and resumed heading for Oahu. Eventually the craft came across two of the lesser shark gods – Kua and Kahole’a. The two conversed with Hi’iaka about the purpose of her journey. Upon hearing that the goddess was accompanying a mere mortal like Prince Lohiau to become the husband of a goddess like Pele they left the vicinity filled with outrage.
The two shark gods sought to prevent Hi’iaka from reaching the Big Island with Lohiau still alive. To that end they went to the subaquatic dwelling place of Moananui, the goddess of the Iele Waena Channel. Moananui had the upper body of a humanoid female and the lower body of a whale, making her a kind of mermaid on a grand scale.
Kua and Kahole’a failed to convince Moananui to cause the double-boat to sink, thus killing Lohiau and the innocent Wahine. The two shark deities swam back to the vessel crewed by our three main characters. Since Moananui would not unleash her waterspout to capsize the craft Kua and Kahole’a swam in circles as quickly as they could to try to form a whirlpool that would suck the double boat into the depths, sparing only Hi’iaka.
The whirlpool formed by the two shark gods was so comparatively weak that Hi’iaka’s divine powers were enough to dispel the menace before it could fully form. Angered by the defiance of Kua and Kahole’a, Hi’iaka jumped from the double boat and grabbed ahold of one of the shark deities as they fled her wrath.
Upon reaching the shore the pair changed into human form and tried to outrun Hi’iaka but she overtook them near the top of Mount Pohakea. To punish them for their misdeed she used her powers to prevent either of them from ever turning back into sharks again. Kua and Kahaole’a lived on forever as two human fishermen, trapped in a life on land and forever longing to return to the sea. ++
I’LL CONTINUE THE STORY SOON. CHECK BACK ONCE OR TWICE A WEEK FOR UPDATES.
FOR MY LOOK AT THE TOP ELEVEN GODS IN HAWAIIAN MYTHOLOGY CLICK HERE
FOR ANOTHER EPIC MYTH CLICK HERE: https://glitternight.com/2013/03/17/iroquois-epic-myth-hodadeion/
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