The informant, T, is 19 years old. He was born and raised on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. His parents were also born and raised on Oahu. His grandparents on his mom’s side came from Japan and from his dad’s side were raised on Oahu. He is majoring as an Industrial and Systems Engineer. He considers himself American and is full Japanese.
T-“ Pele is the goddess of volcanoes so like currently the big island, which is the furthest right island in the Hawaii chain, is like active like a volcano erupting and it is said that Pele lives there so you can’t take lava rocks from the big island or its said that Pele will curse you or something”
Is it only from the big island? Can you take it from the other islands?
T-“Well you’re not supposed to take it from the others, but it is well known you’re not supposed to take it from the big island. That one I think everyone knows that”
Did you hear this since you were little?
T-“Yea since I was little”
Do you know if there are any laws behind it?
T-“I don’t think there is any laws but there’s like Hawaiian laws which like you can’t enforce them”
Do share this story?
T-“Yea. This is one of the ones that I mainly tell other people when we’re talking or having in depth conversations about my culture”
Analysis- While there are no official laws, the story of the curse could be a way of the natives to protect their land. By scaring tourists into believing in the curse, they can ensure that the land will not be disturbed and/or damaged. The fact that most, if not all, of the people know it and tell it can be seen as possible proof of this. Since the locals do not have the power to enforce this law, the curse story could have been made up. Overtime, however, it appears that the legend has been canonized and is becoming more known and accepted by the people to be true.