Goddess Laieikawai  

Posted by Stella Clark

Goddess Laieikawai Image
"LAIEKAWAI" IS THE HAWAIIAN GODDESS OF THE RAINBOW. SHE AND HER TWIN SISTER "LA'IELOHELOHE" WERE BORN IN O'AHU. AS LEGEND HAS IT, HER FATHER WAS SO ENRAGED THAT HIS WIFE PRESENTED HIM WITH FEMALE CHILDREN THAT HE SWORE WOULD KILL ALL OF HIS DAUGHTERS UNTIL A MALE CHILD SHOULD APPEAR; HENCE, LAIEIKAWAI'S MOTHER HID HER AND HER SISTER UNTIL THEY HAD GROWN INTO WOMANHOOD.

LAIEKAWAI'S BEAUTY ATTRACTED EVEN THE GODS, AND IT IS SAID THAT THE CHIEFS FROM MANY ISLANDS TRAVELED FAR AND WIDE JUST TO GAZE UPON HER FACE ONCE SHE WAS REMOVED FROM HER HIDING PLACE BY HER GRANDMOTHER. SHE WORE A ROBE TINTED LIKE A RAINBOW, AND WHEREVER SHE WENT, A FRAGMENT OF RAINBOW HUNG OVER HER. EVENTUALLY, LAIEIKAWAI MARRIED THE SUN PRINCE, AND THAT VERY SAME RAINBOW SERVED AS A LADDER FOR HER TO TRAVEL TO HIS NEW HOME IN THE MOON; IT SEEMS THAT HIS PLACE IN THE SUN WAS FAR TOO HOT AND GLARING FOR THE YOUNG GODDESS. ALL GOES WELL UNTIL, ON ONE OF HIS VISITS TO EARTH, HIS ROVING EYE FALLS UPON THE BUDDING BEAUTY OF HIS SISTER-IN-LAW AND TURNS ALL OF HIS ATTENTIONS ON HER, WOOING HER; EVENTUALLY HE WINS HER AFFECTIONS.

MUCH TIME PASSES, AND LAIEKAWAI BEGINS TO WONDER WHAT IMPORTANT AFFAIRS ARE KEEPING HIM SO LONG ON EARTH. SHE GOES TO THE TEMPLE AT KAHAKAEKAEA TO SEEK THE ANSWERS FROM THE "BOWL OF KNOWLEDGE" WHICH REVEALS TO ONE WHO LOOKS WITHIN WHAT IS GOING ON BELOW...A FORM OF SCRYING. LAIEIKAWAI, SHOCKED, DISCOVERS HER HUSBAND'S INFIDELITY AND REPORTS HIM TO HIS PARENTS WHO LIVE WITH HER IN THE HEAVENS. FOR PUNISHMENT, THEY BANISH HIM TO BECOME A WANDERING SPIRIT. HE THE FIRST "LAPU" (GHOST) IN HAWAII. LAIEIKAWAI THEN RETURNS TO EARTH AND LIVES LIKE A GOD WITH HER SISTER.

TODAY SHE IS WORSHIPED AS KA-WAHINE-O-KA-LIULA, "THE LADY OF THE TWILIGHT, MIST," AND "MIRAGE, "AND IT IS SAID THAT ON OAHU THERE IS A NATURAL WELL, SOME THIRTY YARDS IN DIAMETER AND OF UNKNOWN DEPTH. THIS WELL IS BELIEVED TO BE CONNECTED WITH THE OCEAN. THE HAWAIIANS SAY THAT THIS WELL, KNOWN AS WAIAPUKA, HIDES THE ENTRANCE TO A CAVE THAT CAN BE REACHED ONLY BY DIVING, AND IT IS IN THAT CAVE THAT LAIEKAWAI WAS CONCEALED DURING HER INFANCY.

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