Maui Demigod Of The Wind And Sea
Ancient Hawai’i Myths And Legends Of Maui & The Fish Hook
In ancient Hawai’i, the term kaao refers to a fictional story in which the creativity of the speaker plays a part. A mo’olelo is often a narrative about a historical figure or follows historical events. Stories of the gods are mo’olelo distinguished by a manner of telling. There were many protocols for such stories. For example, sacred stories are told only by day and listeners must not move in front of the speaker. To do so would be highly disrespectful of the gods. Folktales in the form of local legends or family stories also fall under the heading of mo’olelo. It is by far the most popular form of storytelling surviving today in the Hawaiian culture. They may seem fantastical to visitors but nevertheless, they correspond with the Hawaiian view of the relationship between man and nature. A kaao may make use of traditional stories and episodes but are consciously composed to tickle the fancy rather than inform the listener of supposed events.
For unknown reasons migrations from the southern islands stopped around 1300 A.D. Some believe it may have been due to loss of islands along the route to Hawaii while others speculate there may have been a kapu put on traveling to Hawaii. Either way, the Hawaiian society continued to expand for the next 400+ years until being discovered by Captain Cook in 1778. By that time the total Hawaiian population was estimated to have been close to 1 million people.
Though the Hawaiian island of Maui bears his name, the ancient legends of Hawai’i more often credit the island’s name to the discoverer of the archipelago, a heroic explorer named Hawai’i-Loa. Mo’olelo (storytelling & history) passed down for centuries speak of each island having been named after this great Polynesian explorers children. His son Maui was said to have been named after the powerful demi-god, much like people today are named after saints or actors and athletes, or other such well-known people.
Goddess of the Moon
There are many stories about the goddess Hina. She is often connected with the moon and is mostly described as a very smart and attractive woman often pursued by men and other creatures. In Hawaiian mo’olelo (stories) and chants, there are variations on her name such as Hina-puki-i’a (Hina gathering seafood) a goddess of fishermen and Hina-’opu-hala-ko’a who gave birth to all reef life.
But one of the most well-traveled stories speaks of this beautiful yet determined woman who becomes tired of being on earth and flees to the moon, eventually becoming the goddess of it. Her relationship to the demigod Maui is also varied.
Disney Movie Moana
The story of the demigod Maui stretches across the Pacific and is estimated to be over 1000 years old. Always on a quest to empower mankind, Maui has become an endearing icon to the people of Polynesia. Mahalo for your time!
Aloha Nui Loa