Pele challenges Kahawali to a holua race, 1930.


One day when Pele was in her home in the pit, she heard a rumbling. She took the regular attire of women and stood atop of a hill to look, and she saw a chief gliding upon his holua sled, down a cliff, and when he arrived at the bottom of the cliff, that was when the people cheered.

When the chief arrived up where Pele stood, on top of the cliff, she told him, “I will take the challenge to sled with you.”

Kahawali turned and replied, “Let’s go.”

When the incline of the cliff was right, Kahawali came out in front of her. The heat of anger of that woman of the pit rose, but she did not speak. That wondrous one imagined that Kahawali’s holua was faster than hers. When Kahawali reached the top of the cliff, Pele asked him to give his holua to her to try out.

He spoke sassily to Pele. “You think that you are a woman that can ask me for my holua and go gliding down the cliff?”

The frightening anger of that wondrous one quickly escalated and she stomped and there appeared an earthquake that cleaved the cliff in two, while thunder clapped and fire blazed on this side of him and that. When the crowd was watching, it appeared as if Kahawali was racing with the flowing fires of the lava, and they were filled with fright, and were filled with fear for the life of Kahawali.

When he reached the base of the cliff, and he looked and saw this woman coming down within lava. Here comes Pele, here comes Pele. And he ran with all his might to where his canoe was floating, and he got in, and he was chased by the river of lava and he sailed out to sea. The water began to boil and he was nearly caught and turned into volcanic rock.

Kahawali sailed on and he was saved, but he did not dare to return to Hawaii and stay near Pele.

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

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

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.


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