A Battle Nobody Won

On one island lived 4 sisters and 4 brothers. The brothers were gods. They were steam [Ka Moho],earth shaker, thunder and fire [Forest Eater]. The eldest of them all, Ka Moho, god of steam, asked fire keeper to teach Pele how to make fire with her magic spade and fire stick. Finally she learned how to make magma .So she went out to try to make magma.

First, Pele dug a hole with her spade and used her fire stick to make magma. She was fascinated by her powers. But she made her magma over flow and killed hundreds of fishes. Namaka, goddess of sea, got a very bad tantrum. Because of that Ka Moho called a family meeting. At the family meting he could see the raving fire in Pele's eyes. They made an agreement that Pele move to another island. Hiiaka, goddess of lightning, asked Pele, "Can I come with you?"

Pele said, "No but when the time is right I will send for you."

Ka Moho asked Namaka, "Would you lend your servants, Tide and Current, to Pele?"

"Ok," said Namaka. So Pele, Tide, and Current left. When she was traveling, she saw the island of Kauai and told Tide and Current to bring her there. On Kauai she made a volcano. Then she saw Oahu and made more volcanoes and more smoke there. When Namaka saw this, she made a big storm and burned out the last light of fire. When Pele went to Maui she made red glares across the sky. This time Namaka goddess of water tried to kill Pele. Both goddesses tried every trick they knew to kill each other but no one won the battle.

The day after the battle, Pele saw smoke coming from little Kilauea on the Big Island. She ordered Tide and Current to bring her there. She searched and searched for the fire god, Forest Eater, whose home was in the larger Kilauea crater. However, Forest Eater was gone and only his white dog remained. The dog soon forgot about his master and became Pele's dog.

Some people say that Forest Eater ate himself up. Others say he moved to another island. Other people say when there is a volcano you can see the white dog running across the lava.

As for Pele, people say that when someone upsets her, the earth will shake and there will be an eruption. When she is pleased, the volcano is quiet.


by Brandon

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Thompson, Vivian L. Hawaiian Myths of Earth,Sea and Sky. New York:Holiday House,1966.

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