He’e Holua, Riding the Waves of Pele

He’e Holua, Riding the Waves of Pele

Mountain Surfing
Mountain Surfing

Hawaiian Mountain Surfing – ‘Riding the waves of Pele’ refers to the ancient art of lava sledding in Hawaii. In this 2000 year old athletic ritual the natives risked their lives to honor Pele, the mystical Hawaiian Goddess of the Volcanoes.

Standing, laying or sitting on their Holua sleds they would surf the lava of the volcanic slopes reaching over 50 mph. The Holua sled, 12 feet long, 6 inches wide and 4 inches in depth, was carved from native Ohia or Kauila wood. All the ancient Holua slides were built around Heiaus, altars of worship for Pele, the volcano Goddess.

In Hawaiian mythology Pele, the Hawaiian Fire Goddess and Poli’ahu, the Snow Goddess were said to have been fierce rivals. One well known Hawaiian legend tells the story of Poli’ahu, the Snow Goddess, winning a he’e holua race on Mauna Kea, the greatest volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii, against the Volcano Goddess Pele. Pele was so angry at being defeated that she threw streams of glowing lava at Poli’ahu who calmly brought down storms of snow and froze the molten rock into place.
Pele surrendered and never again stepped onto Poli’ahu’s territory on Mauna Kea. The power of fire was pacified by Poli’ahu’s calmness

Mu 2Hawaii’s sacred sledding inspired the creation of Mu, the Menehune Christmas Elf.
Mu’s miniature sled was constructed following the concept of ancient Hawaiian sleds.

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