Hawai’i Fire Goddess


Tutu Pele came from Tahiti

From the land of Borabora

From the red rainbow of Kane

From the blazing clouds in the sky

From the clouds of Tahiti

Tutu Pele is most active in Hawai’i

Tutu (with dashes over the u’s) in Hawaiian is a term of respect for a woman. It is commonly used by locals in place of “Grandma.” Tutu Pele is the volcano goddess of Hawai’i. She is the most important of the lesser gods. The Hawaiians themselves apparently came from Tahiti to Hawai’i in the 5th C. The navigational skills of the Polynesian sailors were far superior to those of the Spanish explorers who hugged the coastline when they explored the Pacific in the 16th C. The Polynesian Voyaging Society has proven and demonstrated how Poynesians were able to find all their island needles in the  vast Pacific haystack using an encyclopedic knowledge of natural things instead of European instruments. Listen to Wade Davis in this wonderful lecture on ancient wisdoms. He begins talking about Polynesian navigational genius at 21 min 30 sec. The whole thing, on various topics, is well worth watching.

I snapped this photo from the Thomas A. Jaggar Museum lookout in Volcanoes National Park, Big Island Hawai’i in 2010. We befriended and gave some photography advice to a friendly American couple standing next to us. They reciprocated by lending me a small tripod so that I could get the above shot of the smoky, glowing Halema’uma’u caldera of one of the world’s longest active volcanoes, Kilauea. Halema’uma’u means “house of fern.” There are a few great hikes through the wet, nearby forests where many large and beautiful ferns can be seen. Legend tells us that the pig god attempted to contain Pele’s fire by building a house of ferns over it. Obviously a huge “Fail!”


Author: mytiturk

Travelbug Minstrel: Strum for my supper, croon for my cuppa Search for a sign, write for my whine

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