** Ka Pele Ai Honua Iloko O Ke Kai / The Earth-Devouring Lava Is In The Sea

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** Ka Pele Ai Honua Iloko O Ke Kai / The Earth-Devouring Lava Is In The Sea

The Woman of the Pit is following Kamapuaʻa!

To the publisher of the "Kuokoa" at the boxing grounds of the Lava.

A true story!

Letters from friends (written and edited for the Kilohana, the Finest).

Honolulu, Feb. 26th - The steamer Kilauea returned here last Monday afternoon, Feb. 26th, from the grounds where Madam Pele is chasing Kamapuaʻa seaward of Keʻei, in South Kona. She [the Kilauea] had sailed with some lava sightseers all the way past Kaʻū, to the place that the lava was thought to have flowed after the flashing fire and the red glow had been seen at the old crater of Pohakuohanale in the summit of Maunaloa, on the 14th of February. But upon reaching there, they were deprived of any features of Pele, so they returned without on Friday, the 23rd. And dawn on Saturday, February 24th, an amazing lava flow emerged in the sea, at a point nearly entering the harbor of Kealakekua.

The lava was first seen emerging at dawn, perhaps a mile off the point of Keʻei, in a form like dark green fires - some people thought it was the lights of the steamer, but they were surprised at the extent of the flames, if that was so.  Yet as dawn emerged,  Pele was seen in her bathing garb, and only then was it clear that she indeed was the cause of the strange colored fires seen in the night.

This was not lava flowing on land, but this lava had dug a pathway for itself to emerge into the sea underneath the earth, from Maunaloa to emerge at Keʻei.

The Steamer's First Glimpse

When the Kilauea returned to anchor at Kealakekua, lines of volcanic smoke were seen issuing over the surface of the sea, like a whale spouting sea water according to its wishes.

And when the Kilauea approached, it was clear to those onboard that this was lava coming up in the sea and not a whale as they had guessed.

The Features of the Lava's Arrival

At dawn after the night the lava was seen, an earthquake shook the Kona districts, but no damages were reported afterward. And yet this earthquake was an action of the volcano.

The First Visits to the Grounds

At the place the lava was emerging, three canoes were floating. Among the people on those canoes were the chief S.K. Kaʻai, Judge J.G. Hoapili and some others who had come to see this new thing, for this news had sped through all parts of the adjacent Kona lands.

In the afternoon of the Saturday mentioned above, the Kilauea released three skiffs and sent them to the lava field, with the sightseers listed below: The Bishop of Honolulu, Chief A.S. Cleghorn, The Honorable H.M. Whitney, Publisher of the Finest Treasure of the Hawaiian People, W.W. Holo Jr., W. Wilder, S. Myers of California, A. Moot from Canada, J.M.G. Sheldon the Head Engineer of the Kilauea, the pursers and the sailors to row the skiffs.

The skiffs sailed directly until they right above were the lava rocks were flying out with force, and they were grabbing for the rocks. Some rocks struck directly below the skiff that was floating right above that lava, no less than six rocks struck the bottom of the skiff. They weren't hard rocks, therefor, the striking of the skiff wasn't even a worry.

All the volcanic rocks that were emerging from the sea were still hot, but quickly cooled, and sand into the depths.

Some folks took the lava rocks as souvenirs, the Publisher of this paper brought one big box all the way here to Honolulu to show the public at his bookstore, and some of the rocks will be returned to the Museum of Hawaiian Antiquities.

The Rumbling Beneath the Earth

A rumbling is coming up from beneath the earth like a top whirring in front of the spinner, or perhaps like the roar of steam when being released.  There is no doubt, this fire is eating its way along beneath the earth.

The Actions of Pele

A certain place of the earth cracked from an inch  to three feet in width, and was struck, for it seems it is a distance of three miles from the shore that this crack is seen.

Within the sea, she is slaughtering the fish in multitudes who enter the borders of the place where her power extends.

The hurried picture of Pele drawn by the Publisher of this newspaper will be seen in the window of his book store.

In the end, I didn't see anything else that was exciting to show the thousand readers of the Kuokoa, only the seeing of this lava emerging from the sea , and this is the finish of the fourth time I personally toured the great eruptions here in Hawaiʻi during my term as newspaper editor - first in 1859; second in 1868; third in 1872, namely the time I hiked to the summit of Maunaloa and gazed and saw the great volcanic crater Mokuʻāweoweo in all it's glory; and the fourth being this past trip.



(click image for original Hawaiian text)

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, March 3, 1877
, Book: 16, Number: 9, Page: 2