Legend of Hina

The woman in the moon

Often in life we wonder why we are
drawn to certain places to certain people
Hilos rainbow falls is the
legendary birthplace of Hina
and it has been the rebirth of many
smiles since then here is the story

Aikanaka wandered to far away
places in search of gratification.
Never once had he imagined that his
wife, Hina, would herself
find reason to journey to a
place where he could not follow---
Aikanaka the Wanderer as he was
known throughout the islands, was
home again. And the goddess thought
she would be happy as she
often told herself she would
be someday, but indeed she was
not. She had found happiness
and peace in her time alone, she
found comfort in her independence.
She had a son, his name was Maui,
and often he would visit.
But lately Maui had found other things
to take up his time, he
began to wander like his father.
And even when he was there
by her side it was not the same.
Aikanaka was said to be a bold
hunter and a fearless warrior on his
far away travels, but inside
Hina knew i was all lies. For at
home Aikanaka proved time after
time that what he was, he was no
more than a teller of tall tales,
false promises, and a husband that
could never be pleased as Hina so needed.
Hina was a simple, pure soul.
A woman who desired only the
comforts of love and who never
asked for herself the pleasures of
wealth. Aikanaka, however, desired
new loincloths and feather
shoulder capes of the finest tapa.
He insisted on the tastiest of
poi, pounded fresh daily from his private
wet-land taro patch in
the valley of Waipio.
He insisted on only fresh spring water to drink.
But where was Aikanaka when the
fresh bark was needed for the tapa
making? Where was this great
warrior and provider when the
imu needed a pig or a fat fish?
Where was he when the taro
needed pounding into the
sweet poi he required? Where was
this man when the water gourds needed filling?
AIA!!! Always as for her whole
life Aikanaka was busy, business and
tall tales first. Telling tales
of the great wild black boar that had
charged him in the great upland
jungles of Olaa. Telling tales of
the ugly giant squid that had
captured his canoe and held it fast.
Telling of the fierce green
eyed shark he had ridden from the
deep sea to the shallows to
escape the squid, and then killed.
Telling of the savage one eyed
warrior who attacked him with a
shark toothed club.
Hina could not break in on such great tales,
so she was left to hunt and do all the work alone.
The morning stars found her
building the fire in her earthen oven.
And the sun beat down on
her at noon as she was busy tapa
making for his new loin cloth.
And as the sun set into the
great sea she was left busy at her
pounding board with her poi pounder and water bowl.
The evening stars lit the way as
she walked alone to the spring to fill the
large calabash with fresh
water for Aikanakas morning drink.
From the sun riseing to the
sun setting, from the birth of the moon to
the death of the moon, Hina
worked and heard nothing but tales
and complaints. Each day she
became more weary, and one day
she could take no more.
Aikanaka, hungry for freshwater
shrimp, had once more sent her with
her net to a distant stream.
As Hina reached her destination she
was blessed to see a great rainbow forming.
Its misty path starting from a
grassy meadow next to the stream and arching high
into the bright azure sky above.
She looked at it with longing in her heart.
She walked to the rainbows base and set her foot
upon it. It held firm to her surprise.
She took another step, and yet
another still. Then Hina tossed
the shrimp net to the ground and
began the climb upwards into the colors
of the sky. Higher and higher she climbed,
away from her husbands tall tales, his
endless complaints and desires.
On and on she went, into the world
of mist in front of her,
into the coolness of love and peace.
But soon the heat of the midday sun grew strong.
Hinas head began to throb with pain.
Her skin began to burn and blister.
She grew dizzy, stumbled and fell,
crawling trying to hold on but her
strength was taken away by all her toils of the day.
The power of her soul was weakened by
her husband and son Maui. Helplessly
she slipped back down the rainbow
path and fell to the earth
beside her shrimp net.
All day Hina just lay there in
the soft grass field where she had fallen.
and as the sun set and the round
full moon appeared in the sky,
she felt her strength returning.
Parched with great thirst, burning
with fever, she picked
up her shrimp net and went home.
She met Aikanaka returning from
the spring. His face was dark as the
blackest night or a thundercloud.
What had taken her so long?
Where was his his fresh shrimp he was hungry?
Why had he actually had to get his
own water to drink this day? He told her
these things were womans work,
and that she needed to remember
her place with grace and dignity
as to not embarrass him in
front of the followers of his tales.
Without a word Hina took the
brimming callabash from him. But
this time instead of pouring
the water into the smaller family gourds,
she set the calabash to her lips.
Thirstilly she drained it all.
Aikanaka gave out a bellow of rage,
and raised his hand to her to strike a blow.
As Hina drew back she saw, behind them,
a moon rainbow forming. She finally
knew what to do with her life.
Still without word, she turned
and entered their cave. She came
out carrying a water calabash
and her favorite tapa board and beater.
Swiftly and calmly she walked
past them to the foot of the moonbow
shimmering in the night sky. As her husband
and son watched Hina set her foot
upon the gleaming trail in front of her
and began to climb.
Aikanaka sprang towards her.
But Hina was already beyond his reach,
and when he tried to follow her the
misty trail would not support his weighted heart.
But with a mighty leap Maui
reached up and grabbed his mothers ankle,
to pull her home. Twisting it as he did so.
She pulled free,gasping in pain.
Limping, the goddess traveled the
cool night path of this moonbow, up into the sky,
towards the beckoning stars, out of sight.
It is there that Hina lives to this day.
Happy and full of peace and contentment
And when the sky is full of billowing
white clouds the goddess is spreading
her tapa in the heat of the sun to dry.
And when the thunder rumbles she is rolling away the
heavy stones that keep her tapa in place.
And when lightning flashs she is
shaking and folding her newest creation of tapa.
On nights when the moon is full,
if you look closely, you may just
see this beautiful goddess.
For there is where Hina sits resting--
she found her love and peace
in the Hawaiian sky--


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sites copyrighted sept.1999