Category: Hawaiian mythology

Hawaiian mythology refers to the body of traditional narratives, beliefs, gods, and legends native to the Hawaiian Islands.

In the article below, World History Edu present 12 FAQs pertaining to Hawaiian mythology:

  1. Who are the major deities in Hawaiian mythology?
    • Some primary deities include Kāne (god of creation and the sky), Kū (god of war and politics), Lono (god of fertility, agriculture, and rain), and Kanaloa (god of the sea).
  2. What is the Kumulipo?
    • The Kumulipo is an ancient Hawaiian chant of creation. It describes the origin of the world, the gods, and the Hawaiian people.
  3. Who is Pele?
    • Pele is the goddess of fire, lightning, dance, and volcanoes. She is often associated with the creation of the Hawaiian Islands and resides in Kīlauea volcano.
  4. What are Menehune?
    • Menehune are a mythological dwarf people in Hawaiian tradition, believed to live in the deep forests and hidden valleys of the Hawaiian Islands, known for their master craftsmanship and nocturnal construction feats.
  5. Who is Maui?
    • Maui is a demigod and a cultural hero in Hawaiian mythology. He is known for various feats, including pulling up the Hawaiian Islands with a fishhook and slowing down the sun.
  6. What are ‘aumākua?
    • ‘Aumākua are ancestral spirits, often seen as family protectors. They can manifest in various forms, including animals like sharks or owls.
  7. How is Hawaiian mythology preserved and passed down?
    • Hawaiian myths and legends were traditionally passed down orally through chants, songs, and hula. With the advent of writing and more recent documentation efforts, many of these stories have been recorded and published.
  8. Is Hawaiian mythology influenced by other cultures?
    • While it has its roots in ancient Polynesian beliefs, Hawaiian mythology has been influenced over time by various cultures due to migration and contact, including Tahitian and other Polynesian influences.
  9. What’s the significance of rainbows in Hawaiian culture and mythology?
  • Rainbows, or “ānuenue” in Hawaiian, are considered a bridge between heaven and earth. They have various symbolic meanings, often seen as blessings or manifestations of gods and ancestors.
  1. What are some ceremonies or festivals associated with Hawaiian mythology?
  • The Makahiki festival, dedicated to the god Lono, is a significant event that celebrates the harvest season. Rituals, sports, and tributes were offered during this time.
  1. How does Hawaiian mythology influence modern Hawaii?
  • Hawaiian mythology continues to shape the cultural, spiritual, and social aspects of Hawaii. Festivals, hula performances, chants, and local customs often derive inspiration from these ancient stories.