Hawaii Legends: Introduction by King Kalakaua, 1888

Hawaiian Gods

(King Kalakaua’s book records lists of the gods, short stories about the gods, and longer legends about their interactions with humans. Where there are stories to link to about these gods, their name will be bold and underlined below so you can click to learn more about them.)

[G - include this section above in the ( ) – it is not a note to you]

Following is a list of the supreme and principal elemental, industrial and tutelary deities of the Hawaiian group:

The Godhead

Kane

The organizer.

Ku

The architect and builder.

Lono

The executor.

Fallen Figure

Kanaloa

The Lucifer, or fallen angel

Rulers in the Realm of Po, or death

Akea

The first Hawaiian king, who, after life, founded the island

kingdom of Kapapahaunaumoku, in the realms of Po, or death.

Milu

The successor of Akea, or who, according to another belief, accompanied Akea to Po, and became the perpetual ruler of a kingdom on its western confines.

Manua

Referred to in some legends as the supreme sovereign of Po. With him abide the spirits of distinguished chiefs and priests, who wander among beautiful streams and groves of kou trees, and subsist upon lizards and butterflies.

Minor Celestial Dieties

Kaonohiokala

(the eyeball of the sun)

A celestial god, with an abode somewhere in the heavens, and to whose prsence the departed spirits of chiefs were conducted.

Kuahaiio

The messenger who conducted the souls of distinguished chiefs to Kaonohiokaqla.

Olopue

A god of Maui, who bore the spirits of noted chiefs to the celestial paradise. Kamehameha sought to secure possession of a very sacred image of this god, inherited by Kahekili, moi of Maui.

The Volcanic Dieties

Pele

The ruling goddess of volcanoes, with her sisters.

Hiiaka-wawahi-lani

The heaven-dwelling cloud-holder.

Makoie-nawahi-waa

The fire-eyed canoe-breaker.

Hiiaka-noho-lani

The heaven-dwelling cloud-holder.

Hiiaka-kaalawa-maka

The quick-glancing cloud-holder

Komo-hoalii

Or King Moho, the king of vapor and steam

Kapohoikahiola

God of explosions

Keuakepo

God of the night rain, or rain of fire.

Kane-kahili

The husband of thunder, or thungering god.

(A hunchback)

Keoahi-kamakaua

The fire-thrusting child of war

(A hunchback)

Deities of the Elements

Laamaomao

God the of the winds, the Hawaiian Aeolus, whose home was on Molokai.

Haniakuluiau

A goddess if rain

Kuula

A god of fishermen for all islands – temples were erected to him on the shores of favorite fishing grounds, and the first fish of every catch was his due.

Hina

Wife of Kuula (appealed to when her husband with held his favors)

Laepua and Kaneapua

Gods of fishermen on Lanai

Hinahele and her daughter Aiaikuula

Goddess of fishermen on Hawaii

Ukanipo

The great shark god of Hawaii

Moaalii

The principal shark god of Oahu and Molokai

Lanoakiki

The great eel-god of all the group

Apukohai and Uhumakaikai

Evil shark or fish-gods of Kauai

Note: There were a number of shark and lizard gods. They were powerful and malignant, and greatly feared by the classes who frequented the sea. Heiaus were erected to them on promontories overlooking the ocean, and the offerings to them of fish and fruits were always liberal. They assumed the forms of giant sharks and lizards, and not unfrequently lashed the waters into fury and destroyed canoes.

Gods of the Arts and Industries

Akua-ula

The god of inspiration

Haulili

A god of speech, special to Kuai

Kolemoku

The deified chief who first learned the use of herbs and the art of healing from the gods. He was a patron of the kahunas. Disciples were Olonapuha and Makanuiailone.

Kukaoo

God of the husbandman

Lakakane

God of the hula nad similar sports

Mokualii

God of the canoe-makers

Hai

God of kapa making

Ulaulakeahi

God of distillation

Lie

A goddess of the mountains who braided leis.

Kiha

A goddess of Maui held in great reverence

(partial list )