Hina: The Goddess

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Hina with child and lele bananas

Hina, Ku'ula, and 'Ai'ai

The goddess Hina, her husband Ku'ula and their son 'Ai'ai were the appointed fisherfolk for Kahoali'i the king of Hana, Maui.

One day the king sent his attendants to Hina's house to fetch some fresh fish. These attendants were jealous of Hina's household and returned to the king without fish. They invented lies and said Hina had insulted the king. Kahoali'i was furious and ordered his fisherfolk to be burned in their own home.

The warriors came and set the house on fire. Cleverly Hina placed three unripened gourds in the burning house. As the gourds exploded in the heat Hina and her family escaped.

Hina went to live in the sea with her husband Ku'ula. Their son went to live with a nearby friend. To avenge her family Hina caused all fish to disappear from Hana waters. Only when her son 'Ai'ai wove special fishtrap baskets according to her instructions did she fill his traps to overflowing. The fishermen of Hana, Maui have woven such traps or "hina'i" ever since.

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