Don't Bring Pork Across Pali

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Traveling to east Oahu? Don't bring any pork with you or else!

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Matt Anderson's Take
Guide Series: Hawaiian Mythology
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Morgan's Corner
Did you know that you're not supposed to bring pork from the windward side of the island to the leeward side? Or, as it's more often described, don't bring pork across the Pali. Yes, you read that correctly. Pork, as in pig meat. It's not supposed to cross over the old Pali road.


If you violate this rule, it's said that your vehicle will stall out. Some forms of the legend say that your car will remain broken down until you throw out the pork. Once tossed aside, the mythical Menehune would later come out to eat it. Other forms of the legend say that an old woman with a dog will appear and the only way to proceed is to feed the pork to the dog. Creeped out yet?


So, where does this legend even come from? It actually dates back to ancient times in Hawaii. The story goes like this, the windward side of Oahu belongs to the pig god, Kamapua'a. The leeward side of Oahu belongs to Kamapua'a's ex-girlfriend, Pele - The Volcano Goddess. Yes, the same Pele that we discussed in Lava Rock & Sand Souvenirs.

Apparently the whole Kamapua'a - The Hog God and Pele relationship didn't work out and ended on less than ideal terms. Each of them agreed on a sort of treaty that kept them each on one side of the island while never visiting the other's side. Because Kamapua'a was the pig god, any pork is considered to be part of him and thus any pork crossing onto Pele's territory is No Bueno (not good).


Is this a real thing or just an old myth? Who knows, but a surprising amount of people in Hawaii believe the legend to be completely true and won't carry pork over the pali because of it to this day. While nobody can explain why pork that's already on the leeward side seems to be immune, is this really something you want to test out for yourself on a dark evening? We'd love to hear of your experiences if you do! Be sure to snap some photos for us too if anything "strange" happens.

As for me, I'll just go ahead and finish my manapua before I head back from the the lovely Nu'uanu Pali Lookout where the gruesome Battle of Nu'uanu took place, thank-you-very-much.
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Brett D
Joined: Mar 2017
Reviews: 56
Likes Received: 1
Wow I did not know this. I am finding so many interesting articles to read on here. I love my pork but do not want to violate any rules and take the chance of any bad karma my way.
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