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Kilauea volcano. Hawaiian Islands, United States

Kilauea Volcano. Hawaiian Islands, United States

Kīlauea is considered to be the present home of Pele, the volcano goddess of ancient Hawaiian legend. Several special lava formations are named after her, including Pele's Tears (small droplets of lava that cool in the air and retain their teardrop shapes) and Pele's Hair (thin, brittle strands of volcanic glass that often form during the explosions that accompany a lava flow as it enters the ocean).
In Hawaiian mythology, Kīlauea is where most of the conflict between Pele and the rain god Kamapuaʻa took place. Halemaʻumaʻu, "House of the ʻamaʻumaʻu fern", derives its name from the final struggle between the two gods: since it was the favorite residence of Pele, Kamapuaʻa, hard-pressed by Pele's ability to make lava spout from the ground at will, covered it with the fronds of the fern. Choking from the smoke which could not escape anymore, Pele emerged. Realizing that each could threaten the other with destruction, the gods had to call their fight a draw and divided the island between them: Kamapuaʻa got the windward northeastern side, and Pele got the drier Kona ("leeward") side. The rusty singed appearance of the young fronds of the ʻamaʻumaʻu was said to be a product of the legendary struggle.

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