Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2020 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming


  • Lee W. BaileyEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-24348-7_9081

She always has the last word. She is unpredictable, impulsive, violent, fiery, and irresistible. But she is also loving. At a sensuous dance ceremony, she fell in love with a handsome young chief Lohi’au. But after a brief romance, she was drawn away to fight several battles. On her return, she found that her beloved had died of grief over her disappearance. But she found his spirit and returned it to his body, restoring him to life. She is Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of fiery volcanoes, revered to this day by Hawaiians.

Pele is the ancestral spirit, the grandmother (Tu-tu) who accompanied the sailing boats from the Polynesian Tahiti group of islands, before 450 BCE. They settled in the Hawaiian Islands, built up from millions of years of volcanic eruptions that transformed into beautiful islands west of Mexico. As an ancient song goes, “From Tahiti comes the woman Pele/From the land of Bora-Bora” (Kane 1987, p. 11).

It is said that when Pele’s volcanic fire cools into ash and cracks,...
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Kane, H. K. (1987). Pele: Goddess of Hawai’i’s volcanoes. Captain Cook: Kawainui Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy and ReligionIthaca CollegeIthacaUSA