Folk Beliefs

Palae, Fire Goddess

IN: Palae, our fire goddess, she like materializes herself into different forms and different ages stuff. And apparently, if you go, if your driving around in like a volcano area, and you see this women in white – but like you wont see her face – she’s hitchhiking you have to pick her up. And you’re not supposed to look at her in the rearview mirror adn she’s gonna ask you for a cigarette and you have to give her one. Or you have to get one to give to her.

JJ: Do you know anyone who that happened to?

IN: Because apparently um, when she’s, when she’s hitchhiking she’s in her beautiful form but if you look at her in the mirror she turns into her thousand year old self and shes all like “eeeeeehhhgg”

And her and her brother, the pig god, didn’t get along. so if you’re driving um towards the volcano and you pass this mile marker, your car will break down if you have pork products in your car. True. It has happened to me. I mean not like, right at the marker, but I mean like, four minutes in my car broke down. Because I had beef jerkey. And I was like, what the hell – I couldnt figure it out. and I was like, “Oh, so it’s true.”

JJ: Was it pork beef jerky? –

IN: Yeah

JJ: -I mean I guess I don’t know what beef jerky is made out of.

IN: But yeah pork products and you’ll break down. I’ve experienced it. Unless its just impeccable coincidence that my car broke down right at the marker.

Context: During a slow work shift, I asked the informant if he had any Folklore from Hawaii.

Background: The informant is Hawaiian. He heard this information about their gods throughout his childhood and adulthood in Hawaii. These gods are very present in current culture and life so it was always something prevalent to him.

Analysis: I was surprised at the relevancy of Hawaiian gods today. I had never heard about them so it was really cool to learn more about Hawaiian culture and beliefs. I’d imagine that Palae can serve as both a protector and a perpetrator. When she is treated decently, in this case someone lets her hitchhike, she is not angry and the volcanoes remain calm. If one erupts or a fire breaks out, it can be connected to someone not taking her along.

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