The Epic Saga of Pele and  Hi’iaka

Holo Mai Pele (Pele Journeys) the epic saga of Pele and Hi’aka tells the impressive story of the rivalry between Pele, Hawai’i’s  goddess of the volcano, and her sister Hi’iaka, Peles’ youngest sibling. The story is portrayed through a performance of ancient hula and chant, intertwining together quintessential styles of production, love, and also dishonesty. Featuring the Hawaiian dance company Halau O Kekuhi, which equated the saga to the modern phase by integrating the customs of Hawaiian chant and  hula with innovative aspects of Western cinema.

Holo Mai Pele by Halau O Kekuhi,

Puanani Kanaka’ole Kanahele and Nalani Kanaka’ole


Near the ocean at Puna, at a place called Ha’ena, Hi’iaka meets Hopoe, her new found friend. It is Hopoe who teaches her a simple hula. The dancing simulates the waves as it moves up on the pebbled coast, and the wind as it blows through the pandanus trees.

Pele longs to see Lohi’au and asks her sisters to bring her lover on Kaua’i, yet they rapidly refuse. Hi’iaka approves the obstacle as well as divines the name Lohi’au which impresses Pele. She then asks Pele to secure her beloved ‘ohi’a lehua groves and her good friend Hopoe while she is gone. Pele hastily promises to recognize Hi’iaka’s request to safe guard her lehua and also Hopoe.

Pele asks Hi’iaka to dance a hula for her before she embarks on her travels.

Hi’iakaikapoliopele goes on her journey. Holo Mai Pele by Halau O Kekuhi

Puanani Kanaka’ole Kanahele and Nalani Kanaka’ole


Hi’iaka is given a limitation of forty days to complete the task . Pele additionally provides Hi’iaka Pa’uopalae who is knowledgeable of the fire clan rituals. Pele also provides Hi’iaka with a magical pa’u for protection.

Pa’uopalae, teaches Hi’iaka how to call upon the Gods.  Holo Mai Pele by Halau O Kekuhi

Puanani Kanaka’ole Kanahele and Nalani Kanaka’ole


Once they leave, they come across Wahine’oma’o, holding a black pig. Wahine’oma’o says to them that she is giving this pig as an offering to Pele. Hi’iaka as well as Pa’uopalae decide to take this spry younger woman with them when they resume their journey through Pana’ewa’s forest. However, Hi’iaka cautions her party that the gigantic reptile Pana’ewa is waiting to attack. During the battle Pa’uopalae summons the sky dogs of the gods Lono and Ku. Hi’iaka summons the whole Pele family members of gods to fight. Hot lava sweeps the land and Pana’ewa is turned into a column of hot stone. Hi’iaka as well as Wahine’oma’o continues their journey to Hana, Maui, to check out an older sibling, Kapo’ulakina’u.

Joined by Wahine’oma’o in the Pana’ewa Forest. Holo Mai Pele by Halau O Kekuhi

Puanani Kanaka’ole Kanahele and Nalani Kanaka’ole


Hi’iaka requires Kapo for her prophecy abilities and powers in sorcery. But upon her arrival she learns that Kapo and Puanui her husband have left to visit the chief ‘Olepau. Sadden by the news Hi’iaka wails to the pandanus fruit clusters, a manifestation of Kapo’ulakina’u. As the ladies move on, Wahine’oma’o is alarmed at the view of a limbless lady attempting to collect seaweed and shellfish off the rocks. A big wave rolls her over, and Wahine’oma’o feels compassion for this woman. Her name is Manamana’iakaluea, a pathetic straying spirit, that Hi’iaka heals right away.

Manamana’iakaluea, a pathetic wandering spirit, that Hi’iaka heals on the spot. 

Holo Mai Pele by Halau O Kekuhi. Puanani Kanaka’ole Kanahele and Nalani Kanaka’ole


On O’ahu at Kahana valley Hi’iaka and Wahine’oma’o are bestowed an ‘awa ceremony provided by Kauhikeimakaokalani, an older relative. Kauhi is the rock guardian of a cliff who wishes to be released from his duties. Hi’iaka can not assume responsibility as Kauhi is left there on the high cliff and the two females continue to Ka’ena their Kaua’i destination.


Awa Ceremony for Hi’iaka Before heading to Kauai.  Holo Mai Pele by Halau O Kekuhi.

 Puanani Kanaka’ole Kanahele and Nalani Kanaka’ole

To Be Continued…

Rejoin the saga on our next quest to follow Hi’ika on her journey to find her sister Pele’s

lover Lohi’au and return to Hawai’i Island with him.