Holua race between Kahawali and Pele, 1930.


One day when Pele was in her crater home, she heard a racket. She took upon the usual attire of women and stood atop a hill to look, and she saw an alii sledding on his holua down a cliff, and when he reached the bottom of the cliff, the people cheered.

When that alii reached the place where Pele stood on top of the cliff, he said I challenge you to sledding.

Kahawali turned and said, “Come.”

When they were at the slope, Kahawali took the lead. The heat of rage of the wondrous woman of the pit rose, but she said nothing, that wondrous one thinking that Kahawali’s holua was faster than hers. When Kahawali appeared at the top of the cliff, Pele asked Kahawali to give her his sled to try out.

He spoke haughtily to Pele. “Do you think you are a woman that can ask for my holua and sled down the cliff?”

The frightening anger of that wondrous one rose, and she stomped upon the earth and there was an earthquake that cleaved the cliff into two, and thunder rumbled and fire blazed about her. When the people saw this, it seemed as if Kahawali was racing against the flowing fires of Pele, and the crowd was filled with horror and fear for the life of Kahawali.

When he reached the base of the cliff, he looked and saw the woman coming down in lava. Pele is coming, Pele is coming. And he ran as fast as he could for his canoe that was on the water; he got aboard while the river of lava flowed out into the sea. The water started boiling and it almost came upon him to turn him into volcanic stone.

Kahawali sailed on and escaped, but never again did he dare return to Hawaii to live near Pele’s domain.

(Alakai o Hawaii, 1/16/1930, p. 3)


Ke Alakai o Hawaii, Buke 2, Helu 38, Aoao 3. Ianuali 16, 1930


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