Hawaiian oral tradition describes 400 years of volcanic activity at Kilauea

Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
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Abstract

Culturally significant oral tradition involving Pele, the Hawaiian volcano deity, and her youngest sister Hi'iaka may involve the two largest volcanic events to have taken place in Hawai'i since human settlement: the roughly 60-year-long ‘Ailā’au eruption during the 15th century and the following development of Kīlauea's caldera. In 1823, Rev. William Ellis and three others became the first Europeans to visit Kīlauea's summit and were told stories about Kīlauea's activity that are consistent with the Pele–Hi'iaka account and extend the oral tradition through the 18th century. Recent geologic studies confirm the essence of the oral traditions and illustrate the potential value of examining other Hawaiian chants and stories for more information about past
volcanic activity in Hawai‘i.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Hawaiian oral tradition describes 400 years of volcanic activity at Kilauea
Series title Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
DOI 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2008.01.033
Volume 176
Year Published 2008
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Volcano Hazards Program, Volcano Science Center
Description 5 p.
First page 427
Last page 431
Country United States
State Hawaii
Other Geospatial Kilauea Volcano