The story of Pele is a Hawaiian legend about the Goddess of Fire. It is said that Pele’s father sent her away from her home in Tahiti because she had a hot temper. She was always getting into arguments with her sister, Na-mako-o-Kaha’I, who was the Goddess of the Sea. Pele left Tahiti in a canoe that she borrowed from her brother and went to Hawaii where she made many fiery volcanoes. She also shed pieces of Peridot as green, glassy tears.
Every time she made a volcano, however, her sister (who had followed her) flooded the fire and put it out. It finally came to the point where the two sisters had a huge fight and Pele met her demise as she was torn apart by her sister. This set Pele’s spirit free and she became a goddess. It is said that Pele’s spirit lives in the Kilauea volcano (one of the most active volcanoes on Earth).
Millions of tourists visit the sacred grounds of Hawaii’s volcanoes each year. Some like to pick up a piece of peridot (especially at Papakolea Beach with its peridot sand) or a lava rock and take it home with them as a souvenir. What these unsuspecting tourists don’t know is that Pele put a curse on anyone who disturbs or steals from her home. Each year, thousands of rocks are mailed back to Hawaii by guilty people all over the world who claim to have had horrible misfortune since taking the rocks from Pele’s home and ask for her forgiveness.
Gemstones have a deep history of folklore and superstition, from curing baldness to making the wearer invisible. This Hawaiian legend is one example of the thousands that have been focused on the creation of colored stones.
To read more about people returning rocks click here