THE story of Hiiaka's journey over the seas which surround the Hawaiian Islands, and through dangers and perplexities, cannot be fully told in the limits of these short stories. There are several versions, so only the substance of all can be given.
On each island she slew dragons which had come from the ancient traditional home of the Polynesians, India. She destroyed many evil-minded gnomes and elves; fought the au-makuas and the demi-gods of land and sea; found the body of Lohiau put away in a cave and watched over by the dragon-women who had been defeated by, Pele when in her long sleep she chanted
the songs of the Winds of Kauai. She slew the guardians of the cave, carried the body to a house where she used powerful chants for restoration. She captured the wandering ghost of Lohiau and compelled it again to take up its home in the body, and then with Lohiau and Wahine-omao made the long journey to her home in the volcano. From the island of Hawaii to the island Kauai, and along the return journey Hiiaka's path was marked with experiences beneficial to the people whom she passed. This must all be left untold except the story of Lohiau's restoration of life and the conflict with Pele.
As Hiiaka and her friend came near the island Kauai, Hiiaka told Wahine-omao that Lohiau was dead and that she saw the spirit standing by the opening of a cave out on the pali of Haena.
Then she chanted to Lohiau:
"The lehua is being covered by the sand,
A little red flower remains on the plain,
The body is hidden in the stones,
The flower is lying in the path.
Very useful is the water of Kaunu."
Thus she told the ghost that site would give new life even as dew on a thirsty flower. They landed and met Lohiau's sisters and friends.
Hiiaka asked about the death of Lohiau, and one sister said, "His breath left him and the body
became yellow." Hiiaka said: "There was no real reason for death, but the two women dragons took his spirit and held it captive. I will try to bring him back. Great is the magic power and strength of the two dragons and I am not a man, and may not win the victory. I will have something to eat, and then will go. You must establish a tabu for twenty days, and there must be quiet. No one can go to the mountains, nor into the sea. You must have a house made of ti leaves for the dead body and make it very tight on all sides."
The next day they made the house. Hiiaka commanded that a door be made toward the east. Then Hiiaka said, "Let us open the door of the house." When this was done, Hiiaka said: "To-morrow let the tabu be established on land and sea. To-morrow we commence our work."
She made arrangements to go to the cave in the precipice at dawn. Rain came down in floods and a strong wind swept the face of the precipice. A fog clung fast to the hills. The water rushed in torrents to the sea. It was an evil journey to Lohiau.
At sunrise they went on through the storm. Hiiaka uttered this incantation:
[1. Ti or ki or lauki, Cordyline terminalis.]
"Our halas greet the inland precipice,
In the front of the calling hill.
Let it call,
You are calling to me.
Here is the great hill outside.
It is cold,
Cold for us."
The dragons shouted for them to stay down, or they would destroy them on the rocks. But the small spirit voice of Lohiau called for Hiiaka to come and get him.
Hiiaka chanted to Lohiau, telling him they would save him. As they went up, stones in showers fell around and upon them. One large stone struck Hiiaka in the breast, and she fell off the pali. Then they began to get up and sticks of all kinds fell upon them again, forcing Hiiaka over the precipice.
The dragons leaped down on Hiiaka, trying to catch her in their mouths and strike her with their tails. Hiiaka struck them with her magic skirt, and their bodies were broken.
The spirits of the dragons went into other bodies and leaped upon Hiiaka roaring, and biting and tearing her body. She swung her skirt up against the dragons, and burned their bodies to ashes. The dragons again took new bodies for the last and most bitter battle.
Hiiaka told Wahine-omao to cover her body with leaves and sticks near the pali and in event of her death to return with the tidings to Hawaii.
One dragon caught Hiiaka and bent her over. The other leaped upon Hiiaka, catching her around the neck and arm. One tried to Pull off the pa-u and tear it to pieces.
Pau-o-palae saw the danger. From her home on the island Hawaii, she saw the dragons shaking Hiiaka. Then she sent her power and took many kinds of trees and struck the dragons. The roots twisted around the dragons, entangling their feet and tails, and scratching eyes and faces.
The dragons tried to shake off the branches and roots--the leaf bodies of the wilderness, and one let go the pa-u of Hiiaka, and the other let go the neck. Pau-o-palae called all the wind bodies of the forest and sent them to aid Hiiaka, the forces of the forest, and the wind spirits.
At last Hiiaka turned to say farewell to Wahine-omao because the next fight with the dragons in their new bodies might prove fatal.
The dragons were now stronger than before. They leaped upon her, one on each side. The strong winds blew and the storm poured upon her, while the dragons struck her to beat her down. But all kinds of ferns were leaping up
rapidly around the place where the dragons renewed the fight. The ferns twisted and twined around the legs and bodies of the dragons.
Hiiaka shook her magic skirt and struck them again and again, and the bodies of these dragons were broken in pieces. Then the wind ceased, the storm passed away, and the sky became clear. But it was almost evening and darkness was falling fast.
The natives have for many years claimed that Hiiaka found the time too short to climb the precipice, catch the ghost of Lohiau and carry it and the body down to the house prepared for her work, therefore she uttered this incantation:
O gods! Come to Kauai, your land.
O pearl-eyed warrior (an idol) of Halawa!
O Kona! guardian of our flesh!
O the great gods of Hiiaka!
Come, ascend, descend,
Let the sun stop over the river of Hea.
Stand thou still, O sun!"
The sun waited and its light rested on the precipice and pierced the deep shadows of the cave in which the body lay while Hiiaka sought Lohiau.
Hiiaka heard the spirit voice saying, "Moving, moving, you will find me in a small coconut calabash fastened in tight." Hiiaka followed
the spirit voice and soon saw a coconut closed up with feathers. Over the coconut a little rainbow was resting. She caught the coconut and went back to the body of Lohiau. It had become very dark in the cave, but she did not care, this was as nothing to her. She took the bundle of the body of Lohiau and said: "We have the body and the spirit, we are ready now to go down to our house."
Then she called the spirits of the many kinds of ferns of Pau-o-palae to take the body down. The fern servants of Pau-o-palae carried the bundle of the body down to the house.
Hiiaka said to her friend: "You ask how the spirit can be restored into the body. It is hard and mysterious and a work of the gods. We must gather all kinds of ferns and maile and lehua and flowers from the mountains. We must take wai-lua (flowing water) and wai-lani (rain) and put them into new calabashes to use in washing the body. Then pray. If my prayer is not broken [interrupted or a mistake made], he will be alive. If the prayer is broken four times, life will not return."
The servants of Pau-o-palae, the goddess of ferns, brought all manner of sweet-scented ferns, flowers, and leaves to make a bed for the body of Lohiau, and to place around the inside of the house as fragrant paths by which
the gods could come to aid the restoration to life.
There were many prayers, sometimes to one class of gods and sometimes to another. The following prayer was offered to the au-makuas, or ghost-gods, residing in cloud-land and revealing themselves in different cloud forms:
"Dark is the prayer rising up to Kanaloa,
Rising up to the ancient home Kealohilani.
Look at the kupuas above sunset!
Who are the kupuas above?
The black dog of the heavens,
The yellow dog of Ku in the small cloud,
Ku is in the long cloud,
Ku is in the short cloud,
Ku is in the cloud of red spots in the sky.
Listen to the people of the mountains,
The friends of the forest, The voices of the heavens.
The water of life runs, life is coming,
Open with trembling, to let the spirit in,
A noise rumbling,
The sound of Ku.
The lover sent for is coming.
I, Hiiaka, am coming.
The lover of my sister Pele,
The sister of life,
Is coming to life again.
After each one of the prayers and incantations the body was washed in the kind of water needed
for each special ceremony, Thus days passed by; some legends say ten days, some say a full month. At last the body was ready for the incoming of the spirit.
The coconut shell in which the spirit had been kept was held against the body, the feet and limbs were slapped, and the body rubbed by Wahine-omao while Hiiaka continued her necessary incantations until the restoration to life was complete.
Many, many days had passed since the fiery and impetuous Pele had sent her youngest sister after the lover Lohiau. In her restlessness Pele had torn up the land in all directions around the pit of fire with violent earthquakes. She had poured her wrath in burning floods of lava over all the southern part of the island. She had broken her most solemn promise to Hiiaka.
Whenever she became impatient at the delay of the coming of Lohiau, she would fling her scorching smoke and foul gas over Hiiaka's beautiful forests--and sometimes would smite the land with an overflow of burning lava.
Sometimes she would look down over that part of Puna where Hopoe dwelt and hurl spurts of lava toward her home. At last she had yielded to her jealous rage and destroyed Hopoe and her home and then burned the loved spots of restful beauty belonging to Hiiaka.
Hiiaka had seen Pele's action as she had looked back from time to time on her journey to Kauai. Even while she was bringing Lohiau back to life, her love for her own home revealed to her the fires kindled by Pele, and she chanted many songs of complaint against her unfaithful sister.
Hiiaka loyally fulfilled her oath until she stood with Lohiau on one of the high banks overlooking Ka-lua-Pele, the pit of Pele in the volcano Kilauea. Down below in the awful majesty of fire were the sisters.
Wahine-omao went down to them as a messenger from Hiiaka. One of the legends says that Pele killed her; another says that she was repulsed and driven away; others say that Pele refused to listen to any report of the journey to Kauai and hurled Wahine-omao senseless into a hole near the fire-pit, and raved against Hiiaka for the long time required in bringing Lohiau.
Hiiaka at last broke out in fierce rebellion against Pele. On the hill where they stood were some of the lehua trees with their brilliant red blossoms. She plucked the flowers, made wreaths, and going close to Lohiau hung them around his neck.
All through the long journey to the crater Lohiau had been gaining a full appreciation of the bravery, the unselfishness, and the wholly lovable character of Hiiaka. He had proposed
frequently that they be husband and wife, Now as they stood on the brink of the crater with all the proof of Pele's oath-breaking around them Hiiaka gave way entirely. She chanted while she fastened the flowers tightly around him and while her arms were playing around his neck:
"Hiiaka is the wife.
Caught in the embrace with the flowers.
The slender thread is fast.
Around him the leis from the land of the lehuas are fastened.
I am the wife--The clouds are blown down
Hiding the sea at Hilo."
Lohiau had no longer any remnant of affection for Pele. Hiiaka had fulfilled her vow and Pele had broken all her promises. Lohiau and Hiiaka were now husband and wife. Pele had lost forever her husband of the long sleep.
Pele was uncontrollable in her jealous rage. One of the legends says that even while Lohiau and Hiiaka were embracing each other Pele ran up the hill and threw her arms around his feet and black lava congealed over them, Then she caught his knees and then his body. Lava followed every clasp of the arms of Pele, until at last his whole body was engulfed in a lava flow. His spirit leaped from the body into some clumps of trees and ferns not far away.
Another legend says that Pele sent her brother
Lono-makua, with his helpers, to kindle eruptions around Lohiau and Hiiaka. This could not harm Hiiaka, for she was at home in the worst violence of volcanic flames, but it meant death to Lohiau.
Lono-makua kindled fires all around Lohiau, but for a long time refrained from attacking him.
Hiiaka could not see the pit as clearly as Lohiau, so she asked if Pele's fires were coming. He chanted:
"Hot is this mountain of the priest.
Rain is weeping on the awa.
I look over the rim of the crater.
Roughly tossing is the lava below.
Coming up to the forest--
Attacking the trees--
Clouds of smoke from the crater."
The lava came up, surrounding them. Tossing fountains of lava bespattered them. Wherever any spot of his body was touched Lohiau became stone. He uttered incantations and used all his Powers as a sorcerer-chief. The lava found it difficult to overwhelm him. Pele sent increased floods of burning rock upon him. Lohiau's body was all turned to stone. His spirit fled from the pit to the cool places of a forest on a higher part of the surrounding mountains.
Hiiaka was crazed by the death of Lohiau. She had fought against the eruption; now she
caught the lava, tore it to pieces, and broke down the walls toward the innermost depths of their lava home. She began to open the pit for the coming of the sea.
Pele and her sisters were frightened. Pele called Wahine-omao from her prison and listened to the story of Hiiaka's faithfulness. Chagrined and full of self-blame, she told Wahine-omao how to restore happiness to her friend.
Wahine-omao went to Hiiaka and softly chanted by the side of the crazy one who was breaking up the pit. She told the story of the journey after Lohiau and the possibility of seeking the wandering ghost.
Hiiaka turned from the pit and sought Lohiau. Many were the adventures in ghost-land. At last the ghost was found. Lohiau's body was freed from the crust of lava and healed and the ghost put back in its former home. A second time Hiiaka had given life to Lohiau.
Hiiaka and Lohiau went to Kauai, where, as chief and chiefess, they lived happily until real death came to Lohiau.
Then Hiiaka returned to her place in the Pele family. It was said that Wahine-omao became the wife of Lono-makua, the one kindling volcanic fire.