Pele & Poliahu–Fire & Ice

I recently made this hula pa’u for my Etsy shop. It somehow captured my heart. I love the colors bleeding from a bright yellow to a vibrant red. At first I found the white to be shocking. In my mind I saw it as black, but now I’m glad I had imagined it wrong as I think, if black, it would have been much too dark. There are many legends about the rivalry between Pele, the goddess of the volcanoes and Poli’ahu, the snow goddess of Mauna Kea. But, I think in this pattern, the two find a common ground. I think this pa’u will be filled with mana. The woman who bought the pa’u feels it. I think she will be inspired to dance like never before.

A beautiful hula pa'u from my Etsy of my very favorites.
A beautiful hula pa’u from my Etsy shop…one of my very favorites.

6 thoughts on “Pele & Poliahu–Fire & Ice

  1. Many of the prints have meaning though I’m sure the fabric manufacture hadn’t intended for this one to be of significance. This is just my interpretation. This particular print also comes in blues and greens. However, in hula the colors of the pa’u for dancing hula (especially ancient hula) are significant. When you dance chants for Pele you always wear the colors of Pele…red, yellow, orange, black or gray. When you dance for Poli’ahu you wear white or shades thereof. For a hula about the ocean–blues, forests-greens, etc. This is especially true when in a competitive performance like Merrie Monarch Hula Competition. The halau is judged on the appropriateness of the colors as well as any particular design before they even start their dance.

    1. Well, I am not surprised, but I am grateful for the explanation. You’re going to laugh, but my only other pitiful knowledge of hula is from an episode of the Brady Bunch where they went to Hawaii and all had lessons in hula. I told you it was pitiful.

  2. Sue

    Do you have any leads on fabric with images of Pele? I just returned from Hawai’i and would love to do a piece to remember my visit. I have searched and can’t find a source. Thank you. Your work is beauiful!

  3. I don’t think I’ve ever seen actual images on fabric. Usually the red, yellow, orange or black & gray are designated as “Pele” colors. That’s why I was so excited about this gradient yellow to red fabric as a buyer was coming to Hawai’i Island for a hula workshop and wanted to honor Pele. I will check it out though.

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