The gods played an important part in the daily lives of Polynesian in early pacific islands. Perhaps the most deeply loved of Polynesian god is Maui. Although the legend of demi-god Maui is always be descript as the mischief maker or trickster god, but the Maui story probably has a larger number of unique and ancient myths than that of any other legendary character in the mythology of any nation. “There are three centers for these Maui legends, New Zealand in the south, Hawaii in the north, and the Tahitian group including the Hervey Islands in the east.” (“LEGENDS OF MAUI” 2007) Following are versions of summary “THE GIANT EEL” told on the island of Maui, Hawaii.
Summary of “The Giant eel”
(from the book of “Maui Mischievous Hero” 1969)
As Maui had grown to manhood, his mother went for a lengthy stay on the island of Hawaii. Maui began making the long trip to see his grandmother in Haleakala. Besides, there are always had good things to eat! Plenty of bananas, breadfruit, coconuts, poi, and fish of all kinds. Grandma said “what are grandmothers for, if not to look out for grandchildren who come to see them?” One day a cloud hung suspended in the air like a misty pillar. Like an omen that frightened him. Grandmother said “It’s a cry for help, be quick, Maui! That is the Ao-‘opua, the Warning Cloud. Your mother is in danger!” He grabbed the magic axe ran so fast that he couldn’t stop, he reached the ocean and jumped into his canoe, paddle across the channel to save his mother. At last, he arrived his mother’s cave. He saw his mother’s enemy, the giant eel Kuna Loa. Kuna Loa had once asked Maui’s mother to marry him, and when she refused he was so angry that he swore he would get even with her. Maui throw the hot lava rocks into the river tried to scare the giant eel Kuna Loa away. When he made his way back to the cave, he expressed the missing affection to his mother, and hope his mother can come back with him. However as grandmother said...