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The Lady Of The Twilight


Source: Myths & Legends Of Our New Possessions & Protectorate

In Koolauloa, Oahu, is a natural well, of unknown depth and thirty
yards in diameter, that is believed to be connected with the
ocean. Bodies drowned in this crater are said to have been found
afterward floating in the sea. This pond, known as Waiapuka, hides
the entrance to a cave that can be reached only by diving, and in
that cave was concealed during her infancy Laieikawai, Lady of the
Twilight. Her father, enraged that his wife always presented female
children to him, swore he would kill all such offspring until a male
issue should appear, and Laieikawai was therefore kept out of his
sight and in retirement until she had grown to womanhood. Her beauty
attracted even the gods, and chiefs from many islands travelled far to
see her face when she had been taken from the cavern by her grandmother
and bestowed more fittingly in a house thatched with parrot feathers
and guarded by the lizard god. Her bed was bird-wings, the birds were
her companions, she wore a robe tinted like a rainbow, and wherever
she went a fragment of rainbow hung over her and might be seen afar.

Laieikawai married a sun prince, and the same rainbow served as a
ladder to take her to his new home in the moon, his place in the sun
being too hot and glaring for endurance. This was a fickle prince, for
having seen another pretty face on earth, he descended, and it was a
year ere he appeared in the moon again. The young wife meanwhile had
gone to the bowl of knowledge, a wooden vessel enclosed in wicker,
decorated with feathers and with birds carved in wood along the
rim. Looking in and uttering the command, "Laukapalili!" a vision of
her recreant husband appeared. The father and mother of the prince were
joint witnesses with the wife of his faithlessness. As the picture
vanished the air grew dark; faint, grisly shapes arose, and wailing
voices sounded, "Heaven has fallen!" Standing on the rainbow bridge,
the father, mother, and wife cast off their love for the prince, and
condemned him to be a wandering ghost, living on butterflies. Then,
having tired of heaven, the Lady of the Twilight returned to earth.

Next: The Ladrones

Previous: The Grave Of Pupehe

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