Pele and the Legend of Maui

Pele is the goddess of the volcano I’m pretty sure there’s like… there are white rock beaches… that… if you remove rocks it’s really really bad.

Well somehow Maui is a god that is related to Pele because they’re all related… and he is younger and there’s like… he did all these things that had to do with ropes. His mom was Hina the moon and like… she, the moon, couldn’t get all her work done in one day, so Maui tied a noose around the sun to keep it from rising so that the moon could get all her work done that day. And then, he also went fishing with his brothers one day, and caught some fish and he had always been ridiculed for not being a good fisherman, and this one day whatever he caught was really big, and they were pulling for a long time and an island popped out and that’s why it’s called Maui.


Background: This interview was conducted live, so this story was given to me in person. The informant has learned this piece by hearing bits and pieces of the original story over the years from many people, as she is from Maui. She knows this piece because it is one of the famous myths about how Maui came to be, which is important for a small island to find some sort of national identity or to figure out how or why they came to be as a small island in the middle of the sea. I think this piece is really interesting and I had no idea that this was the reason the island was called Maui. I had heard about Pele before and how if you stole things from Hawaii like rocks or flowers or anything that one would be cursed or something, but I did not know there was a whole accompanying back story where all these gods were related and that that is how the name of Maui came to be.