Pele’s Curse

Context: The informant is my aunt and will be referred to as L.I. She is originally from Hawaii and is of Filipino descent. She grew up in Hawaii but she now lives in San Diego with her husband (my uncle) and their two children.

Main Text: “A well-known myth in Hawaii is Pele’s Curse. Pele is the Goddess fo volcanoes, fire, lightning, and wind. Pele’s curse says that any visitor who takes rock or sand away from the Hawaiian islands will suffer bad luck until they are returned.”

Analysis: Nature is very important to the people of Hawaii and they take great pride in the natural beauty of their homeland. Hawaii is a very popular tourist destination and it is possible this superstition developed to prevent visitors from altering the original landscape. There are many accounts of people mailing back volcanic rocks because they were met with misfortunes like divorce, debt, and death.