Story Abstract

Hina and the Moon

told by Joni Kaiulani Andersen

Story Source Material: Adaptation from various sources

Taletype Classification of the Story: Myth

Story Rating: General Audience


 In a small Hawaiian village, Hina is widely known for her beautifully-made kapa cloth. When her husband is called away to war, she sits under her large koa tree waiting for him to return while she patiently pounds away with her mallet on her kapa cloth. Hina begins to worry that she cannot see the whole horizon and begins to climb the great crater of Haleakala for a better view. At the top of Haleakala, she sees a rare night rainbow. Hina realizes that she can climb the rainbow for an even better view of the horizon. As she climbs, she grows weary. She sees the moon high above her and decides to hoist herself up on it to sit and rest. Scanning the water from her seat on the moon, she finally sees an overturned canoe. Hina identifies it as her husband's canoe from the handmade kapa cloth that is floating beside it which she recognizes as being made by her own hand. With her husband lost to her forever, she decides to stay upon the moon. Many believe that the figure that they see on the moon is a man, but the old Hawaiians know that it is Hina pounding away at her kapa cloth that she spreads out in the heavens with the clouds as she watches over the children of the Earth.