Hawaiian Legends of Volcanoes
When Hawaiian Legends of Volcanoes was first published in 1916, William Drake Westervelt introduced stories of the volcano goddess Pele to an English speaking audience. The reader explores Pele’s lasting influence on the cultural and physical environment of Hawai‘i through traditional tales of her tempestuous nature and fierce power. W. D. Westervelt’s timeless storytelling is combined with full color and block print artwork by Dietrich Varez to create a stunning picture of Pelehonuamea; Pele of the sacred land.
Pele’s voyage to find a new home echoes a cultural history of migration. She is accompanied by her family, including her shark-god brother, Kamohoali‘i and her youngest, most-beloved sister, Hi‘iakaikapoliopele. Conflicts with her sisters and rivals—Namakaokaha‘i, the sea goddess, and Poli‘ahu, the snow goddess—offer explanations for natural events framed in glorious battles. Kamapua‘a, her demi-god lover and rival, features prominently in stories displaying her explosive jealousy. Interspersed in the doings of gods are Pele’s encounters with mortals, who often emerge the worse for the experience.
Republication of this iconic work celebrates the 100th anniversary of its original printing, as well as the concurrent centennial celebrations of the United States National Park Service and the creation of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Petroglyph Press is pleased to present Selections from Hawaiian Legends of Volcanoes for a new generation of readers to enjoy.
by William D. Westervelt
illustrated by Dietrich Varez