Who is the Fire Goddess Pele?

Posted by Teresa M. Nelle RS-60797 on Sunday, May 6th, 2018 at 1:20pm


As most of the world knows by now, Mt. Kilauea is certainly on a roll and Madam Pele is not in a very good mood to say the least!  Have you heard of the curse that Mt. Kilauea, our active volcano holds inside of her?  It is compliments of the Goddess of Fire: Pele.  It seems so harmless to want to take home a small bit of lava rock from the volcano on the Big Island, but you may want to read on…

It is said that the Fire Goddess Pele considers all of those rocks her children, and should anyone abduct one of her children, they will suffer any number of maladies.  It is a curse of bad luck, be it health, financial or emotional, some have said it had brought them ruin, and they mail the rocks back to the summit.  Piles of lava continue to arrive in the mail every day.  Some taken last week, some more than a year ago, either way, there were some serious strokes of very bad luck, and home the rocks came.  There used to be several displays of these returned children, but they have since been removed.

A subliminal message?  I suppose there is something to be said about the power of the mind.  Someone becomes ill and recalls that cute little chunk of lava sitting on the mantle from that last Hawaiian holiday.  Send Back the Rock!!!

Many locals insist that the curse is real. Whether it applies to only the lava rocks, or every Hawaiian grain of sand, people still speculate.  The interesting thing is that this “curse” does not even have an anchor in Ancient Hawaiian Lore.  It was not a part of the culture.  This could be that tourism was not so much a thing centuries ago as it is now, but it certainly is an intriguing folklore!  It is said that this was all started decades ago by the Park Rangers to discourage the souvenir collectors.  No so sure why, it’s not like we are going to run out of lava rocks any time soon.  Culturally sensitive, some native Hawaiians felt the exhibits disrespectful to the Goddess Pele and to the Hawaiian culture and they wanted the part to remove all of the exhibits of the returned lava rocks.  There is a bit of an issue with this however.  This “curse” has been accepted as lore by locals and visitors alike, no matter where it began, it is now a part of our Hawaiian culture, so the removal of the exhibits and no longer sharing the tale of the curse, can again be interpreted as a sign of cultural disrespect.  One thing is for certain, I will not be taking any of Pele’s babies home with me anytime soon!

Should you wind up with a lava rock accidentally or intentionally and take it off of the island, you may want to add this information to your rolodex: Pele, c/o Headquarters, Volcanoes National Park, Volcano, HI 96785.

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