Why do we ignore science? 1983.

Volcano alarm sounded, but nobody listened

Clark’s Big Isle

“You may bring a horse to the river, but he will drink when and what he pleaseth.”

—George Herbert, 1640.

HILO.—In early 1975, Drs. Donald Peterson and Donald Mullineaux, volcanologists, issued a report, “Volcanic Hazards on the Island of Hawaii.” If reaction had come in a theater, the audience would have booed.

Peterson was scoffed at by Big Island real estate agents and tourist industry leaders. Mayor Herbert Matayoshi jumped on the bandwagon and castigated the scientists for unduly alarming residents, potential visitors and prospective investors.

As a result, the report was largely ignored. Continue reading

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Clarice Taylor talks of Kilauea place names, 1959.

Clarice B. Taylor’s
Tales about Hawaii

Place Names About Kilauea Crater

Another attempt to destroy Pele and her volcanic fires crops up in a little known legend which comes from the Island of Kauai.

After the death of the Chief Kaha-wali in a lava flow at Puna, Hawaii, the Kauai chiefs determined to make an end to Pele and her antics.

Kauai in those days was famous for having Kahunas (priests) of great spiritual powers. The people of Kauai believed they were strong enough to cope with Pele. So six priests were selected and sent to Hawaii with instructions to go to Kilauea and surround Pele. Continue reading

Holua race between Kahawali and Pele, 1930.

THE WOMAN OF THE CRATER.

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.” Continue reading

Casualties from exploding lava, 1924.

MET WITH DEATH FROM ROCKS FROM THE THE LAVA

Two Haole Soldiers Disappear Without Being Found—It is Believed They Too Were Victims of the Lava

These are the two haole soldiers who disappeared without their bodies being found from the morning of this past Sunday. The two were last seen in an area near the crater, before the powerful lava explosion.

From the left is Edward J. Hinman, and to his right is Howard J. Simmons, they are both soldiers of the engineers of Leilehua, and they were camping at Kilauea, Hawaii.

As per the very latest news received from Hilo town, Madame Pele is surely at it these days, displaying her wondrous power which causes fear in a great many of Hawaii’s people who went to see the volcanic activity.

Amongst the visitors on this past Sunday was one who met with tragedy, after breaking both his legs and being burned by the hot ash from the lava, that being Truman T. Taylor, the bookkeeper of Pahala Sugar Plantation. Continue reading

Escaping rocks thrown into the sky, 1924.

The Deeds of Madame Pele, the Woman of the Pit, are Wondrous

Many Lives are Spared
From the Rocks of Lava

Rocks and Ash are Thrown into the Sky When the Lava Exploded This Past Tuesday

HILO, May 13.—Many lives were spared this afternoon, because Thomas E. Boles, the superintendent of Hawaii national park, foresaw the trouble and forbade people from going to see the crater of Halemaumau, just minutes before the powerful explosion of lava, throwing huge rocks to a distance of 2000 feet. Volcanic ash was shot 1800 feet in the sky above the crater. Continue reading

David Alapai and his mele inoa for Pele, 1919.

INTERESTING MATTERS PERTAINING TO THE LAVA SEASIDE OF ALIKA

When lava gushed forth upon the land of Alika, nearby the “building filled with tons of awa.” Sleeping there in that place was a man intoxicated on awa, and it was with great effort that this man drunken on awa escaped with his life. Just as that man got away did the “lava” engulf that building with its tons of awa. Right makai side of that awa storehouse the man had tied up his donkey and it is was seen that the lava had flowed off course and left behind this donkey belonging to that awa storehouse watchman. Several days later when that man was talking about his near escape from the lava, he told this funny story. “Pele does not have interest in Donkey meat, but she likes drinking awa. She waited a bit for me to get away from that building and then she drank all of our awa up, and to show her appreciation for this awa drinking party, she left behind my Donkey.” Continue reading