Hawaii is a magical and beautiful place, full of majesty, myth and legend. Among the many tales you’ll hear are the lore behind the gods of Hawaii. Though there are many major gods and lesser gods in island legend, there are a handful of main deities worth noting.
Many Tiki statues are representations of these figures and nod to their respective powers (also known as mana), and lesser gods are often linked to a particular profession. For example, Kuula is the god of fishermen, and Lono is associated with agriculture and fertility. To this day, the island gods are revered and respected among Hawaiians, and legends are passed from generation to generation to keep them alive and well.
Here are some of the gods you may hear about on your next adventure—whether you embark on your own journey or take advantage of private charters in Hawaii:
- Kane: Of the four main gods—Kane, Ku, Kanaloa and Lono—Kane is the most powerful and revered. Kane is the god of all living creatures and considered to be the creator. In legend, he was the first to emerge self-aware from the chaos of creation. It is also said that, with the help of two other deities, they created the lesser deities as servants.
- Ku: Many cultures have a deity dedicated to war and battle. In Hawaiian culture, this is Ku, the god of war. Tribal conflict and other causes for war made a deity like Ku a necessity in the eyes of ancient Hawaiians. To have the god of war on your side meant success in battle, and in ancient times, paying tribute to Ku required a human sacrifice to gain favor. A specific time of year was set aside to celebrate Ku, which often required elaborate ceremonies.
- Lono: Unlike Ku, Lono represents peace, fertility, music and agriculture, and as such, rules were observed preventing war during ritual periods between October and February. During this time, the winter storms would provide the rains needed for agriculture. According to the myth, Lono came to earth on a rainbow to marry the goddess of hula dance.
- Kanaloa: Despite the misconception of early missionaries to the Hawaiian Islands, who likened this god to the Christian idea of the devil, Kanaloa is not considered to be the god of evil. Often considered to be a counterpart to Kane, Kanaloa represents the underworld and a balancing force in the universe. It is said that Kane governs the Northern Hemisphere, while Kanaloa has reign over the Southern Hemisphere. This deity is also the teacher of magic.
Maybe you have heard some of the legends of the Gods of Hawaii, but have never been to Hawaii yourself. We believe that everybody should get a chance to explore Hawaii and learn everything they can while they’re here! Luckily for you, some local businesses in Hawaii offer private charters for everything from fishing to sightseeing. Book private charters with Sea Wife Charters and the fishermen in your group can fish, while everyone else takes advantage of the beautiful sights!