According to Hawaiian mythology, the rocks are cursed by the god Pele.
Every day dozens of rocks are sent from all over the world to Hawaii. These are rocks that are taken from the island as souvenir items by tourists. Why return them? To avoid the curse of Pele.
In Hawaiian mythology, Pele is a charismatic volcano goddess. Native Hawaiians believe that Pele traveled from the South Pacific and had a vital role in the creation of the island chain. After this feat, the goddess took refuge at Kilauea Volcano. This is a very active volcano on mainland-Hawaii and eruptions occur regularly. It is believed that Pele, the possessive and unforgiving goddess, curses any visitor who takes rocks from her domain. The consequences of the curse are supposedly devastating. Those that claim to be under the curse have said to have suffered pets dying, jobs lost, and losing loved ones. This well-respected goddess has been attributed as the main cause why uncountable hotels and volcano parks receive a constant stream of parcels full of rocks and other mementos.
Local legend has it when a visitor returns whatever was taken from the islands, Pele will lift the curse. Even though there is no scientific basis to back up the curse, numerous tourists state that there is a sense of relief and that the “bad luck” of Pele Curse is alleviated. In addition, tourists are recommended to perform a cleansing ritual to ensure a total removal of the curse.
Recent archeological reports claim that there is no distinct evidence the legend of Pele existed a few millennia ago. Professionals claim the legend to be a newer addition to the islands numerous mythological tales. It is believed that the tale originated from a wildlife official who was disgruntled by tourists carting off with black lava rocks on his watch.
Whenever you visit a foreign part of the world, be sure to respect the culture and practices of the locals. The phenomena of Pele, the volcano goddess has been adopted and incorporated into the Hawaiian culture by the locals. Whether Pele’s curse is of ancient origin or a modern yarn, it has become respected by tourist due to the flood of bad luck that seems to fall upon those who take these rocks.
If you do believe in the curse, a good number of samaritans have set up shop in Hawaii. They let you send the item to them, and they perform the cleansing ceremony for you. Search online for their addresses and how to get in touch with them.
are you in hawaii?? (prolly dumb question) i loved living there.
don't take a rock from the volcano, Pele will curse you.
— Sarah?Schanze (@depleti) January 18, 2017
- Fox News
- Pacific Standard
- Volcano Gallery- Volcano Lodging – Volcano Gifts
- Huffington Post -7 Hawaiian Legends Not To Be Ignored
- Huffington Post -The Mysterious Reason Tourists Keep Mailing Rocks Back To Hawaii