“The Jealous Wife” (Hawaii)

Perhaps, you’ve noticed that we haven’t posted a legend in awhile on this outlet. We took some time off because our artist, Tara Bonvillain, had a beautiful, healthy baby boy. Congrats! But, now she’s back to a routine and took some time to illustrate our first legend of 2020. This story comes from Hawaii and it’s about  our favorite goddess, the fiery Pele. Have you ever wondered how Pele decided to live on the Big Island of Hawaii? Well, read on! The legend comes from the book, Tales Told in Hawaii. Enjoy!

The Jealous Wife

When Pele, the goddess of volcanoes, was in search of her husband who had run away with a woman form the heavens, she came to the land where Aukele lived. Aukele was so charmed with the beauty of Pele that he pretended to his wife, Nama, that he went fishing every day, when in truth he was with Pele and her sister, Hiiaka.

At last Nama got tired of hearing the excuses of her husband and cried, “Say, cunning, do you think I’m a fool?” She was so angry she drove Pele toward the Hawaiian Islands.

The Jealous Wife (Hawaii)

“The Jealous Wife,” illustration courtesy of Tara Bonvillain, copyright 2020.

Pele sought refuge on the island of Kauai. No sooner had she started her fires than Nama drove her to Oahu. Pele found Oahu too shallow, so she moved to Molokai. On Molokai she struck water and moved to Haleakala, Maui. She was about to give up her home there because it was too large a place to heat. When the jealous wife spied her glowing fires, she came and fought and killed Pele.

Pele’s spirit escaped to the island of Hawaii where she dug a pit in Kilauea, and there she lives to this day.

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