Pele and Kamapuaa

Posted: Dec 12, 2010

Although Pele, the goddess of fire, is probably one of the best known goddesses in Hawaii, she is not the only one. Another prominent god in Hawaiian theology is Kamapuaa, the god of the rainforest. Kamapuaa is often referred to as the “hog god” and is believed to have been born part pig. Even his name portrays this, Kamapuaa, which roughly translates to “pig child.”

It is said that Pele and Kamapuaa had a short lived romance, but the two were not compatible and their battles far outweighed their love for each other. Culminating in a massive battle in which Kamapuaa tried to extinguish Pele’s flame (to no avail). Eventually the two gods agree to split this island between them, Pele taking the regions of Puna, Kau and Kona, where her lava periodically runs, and Kamapuaa taking the districts of Kohala, Hamakua and Hilo where the moisture prevails. Even today there are many formations around the islands that the Hawaiians see as evidence of past battles between Kamapuaa and Pele.

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