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Pele: Goddess of Hawaii's Volcanoes by Herb…

Pele: Goddess of Hawaii's Volcanoes

by Herb Kawainui Kane

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I purchased this for research purposes, as I wanted to learn more about Pele beyond the Wikipedia entry. (It's frustrating and amusing how online searches for Pele are bogged down by results on the soccer star.)

It's a short book at 64 pages, but really quite excellent as a resource. It focuses on tales of Pele going back to the creation myth of Polynesia and how she came to Hawaii as her people did. Pele's interactions with her siblings and the people of Hawaii echo other world mythologies--it often comes down to love triangles, seduction, jealousy, and subsequent explosions of lava. More modern tellings of Pele are fascinating, though, from the defiance of the Christian Princess Kapi'olani to 20th century sightings of an old woman in peculiar settings. Even the author had an odd experience regarding a painting of his. This tales have the vibe of a ghost story; the logic of the situation is presented, but there's still a lingering question about what really happened.

Kane's paintings are featured throughout the book and really add extra depth. He does fabulous work. ( )
  ladycato | Jun 30, 2013 |
Slim volume about Pele the goddess of Hawaii's volcanos. Beautiful illustrations. ( )
  a211423 | Aug 22, 2006 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0943357012, Paperback)

Myths, legends, romances and folktales of the most fascinating goddess of old Hawaii. Pele lives in Hawaiian hearts and minds as the personification of volcanic majesty and power. Having the power to create new land, she has a volcanic personality - an impetuous, lusty nature, jealous, unpredictable, capable of sudden fury and great violence. Yet she can also be gentle, loving and as serene as her forests of verns and flowering trees.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:09 -0400)

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"Possessing the power to create new land, Pele also has a volcanic personality--an impetuous, lusty nature, jealous, unpredictable, capable of sudden fury and great violence. Yet she can also be gentle, loving, and as serene as her forests of ferns and flowering trees."--P. 4 of cover.… (more)

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