Volcano Folklore

Allow me to start with the answers to yesterday's questions:

1. Some say that if you take a lava rock as a souvenir, you will have streak of bad luck. Of course, there are different versions of this story.
2. The Hawaiian Goddess Pele is said to live in the volcano Mt. Kilauea.
3. Some believe that the lost city of Atlantis was destroyed and buried due to a volcano eruption.
4. The word 'volcano' comes from the little island of Vulcano in the Mediterranean Sea off Sicily.
5. Earthquakes and volcano eruptions were also considered as giants wandering the earth.

Vulcan, The Roman God of Fire

Vulcan, the Roman God of Fire, was considered the blacksmith of the gods. Volcan was Hephaistos - the Greek god of fire and craftsmanship, named Vulcan by the Romans. He was said to have made weapons and tools for the other gods in his workshop at Olympus. Volcanoes have frequently been identified with Vulcan and other mythological figures. Poets attributed the smoke from volcanoes as to be from Vulcan's forge (volcano).

He was the son of Zeus and Hera - although some versions of his story state that he had no father, with Hera bearing him alone in retaliation for Zeus having brought forth Athena - Hephaestus was born lame and ugly, and his mother Hera hated him on first sight and he was cast out (story versions vary as to how). The sea-goddess Thetis found the crippled infant and took him to her underwater grotto. She raised him with the help of the goddess of Graces, Eurynome.

To regain his rightful place among the gods, he built a golden throne and sent it to Hera as a gift. Upon sitting on it, Hera was imprisoned by its golden arms, which promptly clamped her. To reclaim her freedom Hera had to extract a promise from all the gods that Hephaestus would be accepted into the Pantheon.

Pelee - Hawaiian Goddess of Volcanoes

Hawaiian legends tell that eruptions were caused by Pele, the beautiful but tempestuous Goddess of Volcanoes, during her frequent moments of anger. Pele was both revered and feared; her immense power and many adventures figured prominently in ancient Hawaiian songs and chants. She could cause earthquakes by stamping her feet and volcanic eruptions and fiery devastations by digging with the Pa'oe, her magic stick. An oft-told legend describes the long and bitter quarrel between Pele and her older sister Namakaokahai that led to the creation of the chain of volcanoes that form the islands.

Llao and Skell - Native American Gods - Crater Lake

Native Americans interpreted Mazama's violent eruptions before its collapse as a war between two gods, Llao and Skell. Shamans in historic time forbade most Indians to view the lake, and the Indians offered no information about the lake to pioneers who crisscrossed the area for 50 years without discovering it.

According to Indian legend, La-o was the chief spirit who occupied the mystic land of Gaywas, or Crater Lake. Under his control were many lesser spirits, who appeared to be able to change their forms at will. Many of them were monsters of various kinds. Among them the giant crawfish (or dragon) who could, if he chose, reach up his mighty arms even to the tops of the cliffs and drag down to the cold depths of Crater Lake, any too venturesome tourists of the Primal days.

Skell was a mighty spirit whose realm was the Klamath Marsh region, his capital being near the Yamsay River on the eastern side of the marsh. He had many subjects who took the form of birds and beasts when abroad in the land, as the antelope, the bald eagle, the golden eagle and others, among which were the most sagacious and active creatures on earth.

Now a fierce war occurred between Skell and La-o and their followers, which raged for a long time. Finally, Skell was stricken down in his own land of Yamsay and his heart was torn from his body and carried in triumph to La-o Yaina or La-o's mountain, the eastern escapement of which is the great rock rising above Crater Lake.

The men of Skell knew that if the heart of Skell could be restored to his body he would live again, and with a secret understanding between them, they awaited their opportunity. It was passed from on Skell follower to the next. Skell's heart was returned to his body, he lived again and the ware was resumed. La-o was himself overpowered and slain. His body was borne in triumph to the great rock, the cliff overlooking the lake near his own capital. A false message was conveyed to La-o's monsters in the lake that Skell had been killed again. The body was torn to pieces and hurled into the water. As each part of the body was thrown to the lake, the monsters of La-o devoured it. But when the head was thrown in, they recognized it as that of their own god La-o, and refused to touch it. So it remains today as an island known to all as Wizard Island.

Mount St. Helens

Northwest Indians told early explorers about the firey Mount St. Helens. In fact, an Indian name for the mountain, Louwala-Clough, means "smoking mountain". According to one legend, the mountain was once a beautiful maiden, "Loowit". When two sons of the Great Spirit "Sahale" fell in love with her, she could not choose between them. The two braves, Wyeast and Klickitat fought over her, burning villages and forests in the process. Sahale was furious. He smote the three lovers and erected a mighty mountain peak where each fell. Because Loowit was beautiful, her mountain (Mount St. Helens) was a beautiful, symmetrical cone of dazzling white.

Source: Crystalinks


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