Pele and Hi‘iaka

Hawai‘i is a place that still holds the true Nature of Creation Spirituality. There are a few Polynesian Goddesses who have survived the near extinction of Feminine Divinity.

It was on these Puna shores that the Goddess Hi‘iaka lived and enjoyed her life as a mortal. But her older sister Pele, the powerful and vengeful Goddess of Hawai‘i’s volcanoes, made Hi‘iaka’s life very difficult at times.

Here in Puna, Hi‘iaka cultivated her beloved ‘Ohia trees and gathered their beautiful red flowers, the ‘Ohia Lehua, for leis. She collected and used many native plants for medicinal purposes, and legend has it that she actually performed “revivification rituals” on more than one occasion to bring dead people back to life.

Along with her best friend, Hopoe, Hi‘iaka is credited with dancing the hula for the very first time on the beaches of Puna.

But after a very great argument between the sisters Pele and Hi‘iaka, Pele exerted her dominance and caused a massive volcanic eruption, the lava of which destroyed much of the Puna coastline and engulfed Hi‘iaka’s ‘Ohia forest, killing Hopoe in the process.

Scientists from Volcanoes National Park have calculated that a massive and long-lasting eruption (about 50 years in length) occurred here 500 years ago, and have conjectured that the Pele/Hi‘iaka myth might have been created at this time to “document” this enormous act of nature.

So 500 years ago today, the land where Hi‘iaka’s Garden is now located was afire with burning rock. All of Hi‘iaka’s precious forest and medicinal plants were destroyed. Until now. Our goal at Hi‘iaka’s Garden is to restore the wonder and beauty that Hi‘iaka created and loved so well.