Haumea had several daughters. One of her daughters was Hi'iaka. Hi'iaka was the patron goddess of hula dancers.
Click on image for full size
Image courtesy of Corel Corporation.
Haumea - Hawaiian Goddess
Haumea was the goddess of childbirth in Hawaiian mythology. One of her children was the volcano and fire goddess Pele. Her children also included the sea goddess Namaka and Hi'iaka - the goddess of hula dancers.
In one Hawaiian myth, Haumea's children were born by springing forth from various parts of the body of their mother. Hi'iaka sprang from Haumea's mouth. Namaka came from her mother's thigh.
Haumea is also the name astronomers have given to a dwarf planet in our Solar System. The dwarf planet's moons have the names of two of Haumea's children, Hi'iaka and Namaka.
There are several connections between the myth of Haumea and the dwarf planet and its moons. Astronomers think Haumea may have crashed into another large object a long time ago. It is possible that pieces left over from this collision came together to form Haumea's moons. If so, the scientific story matches the myth. The "children" (moons) of Haumea did indeed "spring forth from" the "body" of their "mother" (the dwarf planet).
The goddess Haumea also represents the "element" of stone. The dwarf planet Haumea appears to contain more rocky material than is usual for most Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs). KBOs usually have more ice in them. The dwarf planet is connected to the Hawaiian goddess in yet another way!
Finally, one of the groups involved with the discovery of the dwarf planet used telescopes in Hawaii to observe this faint, distant object. Who better, then, to name the dwarf planet after than a Hawaiian goddess?
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, ranging from seismology
, rocks and minerals
, and Earth system science
You might also be interested in:
Pele is a fire goddess according to the people of Hawaii. She is a savage and wrathful divinity who is said to reside in the crater of the volcano Kilauea. She is considered responsible for all the eruptions...more
Haumea is a dwarf planet in our Solar System. Haumea is officially the fifth dwarf planet. The four that came before it are Pluto, Eris, Ceres, and Makemake. Haumea was classified a dwarf planet in September...more
Haumea is a dwarf planet in our Solar System. Haumea has // Call the moon count function defined in the document head print_moon_count('haumea'); known moons, both discovered in 2005. Hi'iaka is the larger...more
The outer edge of our Solar System is not empty. There are many, many huge spheres of ice and rock out near Pluto's orbit. Astronomers call this huge group of planetoids "Kuiper Belt Objects", or "KBOs"...more
With just our eyes, we can see many things in the night sky, including stars, planets, meteors, comets, auroras, and the Moon. Have you ever looked up and wished that you could take a closer look at the...more
Haumea was the goddess of childbirth in Hawaiian mythology. One of her children was the volcano and fire goddess Pele. Her children also included the sea goddess Namaka and Hi'iaka - the goddess of hula...more
The Maya believed the Earth was flat with four corners. Each corner represented a cardinal direction. Each direction had a color: east-red; north-white; west-black; south-yellow. Green was the center....more
Ares was the Greek god of war, was identified with the Roman god, Mars. He always acted like a strong warrior and a strong desire for violence. He enjoyed the great noise of battle, and he loved bloody...more