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Myth Madness: Hina the Tapa Beater on the Moon


So surprisingly enough, I already knew about this one.

Or at least I thought I did.

This hawaiian goddess seems to have 5334923 different versions of her story. Yeah. I’m not going to cover all of them either. I might break the internet. But I will cover the one I read in a mythology book.

In many stories Hina’s role changes. In one she’s a wife, in another she’s an abused wife. But in my version she was the daughter of a cruel mother. All day long Hina would beat bark into pulp to make beautiful tapas next to the river that she fished in. Her mother forced her to do this all day because she would make lots of money off of Hina’s tapa cloth, but she abused Hina and treated her poorly.

Until one day, Hina had had enough. A rainbow appeared before her and she decided she would escape on it and run away to the sun. She began to climb. She climbed and climbed but the hot sun beat on her back viciously and as she looked down she slipped and fell all the way back to the bottom. She decided that if the rainbow was still there at night that she would try again.

Her mother ended up beating her because she didn’t make enough tapas that day since she was busy climbing the rainbow. After Hina’s mother fell asleep she sneaked back out and was amazed to see the rainbow still there and ready to climb. With her favorite tapa making mat on her back she began to ascend the rainbow. But then…

,,,her mother grabbed her foot! Her mother began pleading and begging Hina to stay because she needed her but Hina wasn’t going to fall for that bullshark and retched her ankle free of her mother’s sharp grip. She hurredly climbed the rainbow as fast as she could and refused to look behind her or at the Earth below her.

Without the sun beating on her she quickly made it to the top of the rainbow to discover that she was on the moon! It was so beautiful that she decided she would settle here and never see her mother again and continue making tapas from her new home on the moon’s surface.

It is said that when you look at a full moon you can see Hina’s beautiful profile shining in the night.


There’s apparently another version where Hina was merely a mortal that when taking a dip in some hot springs one day, she ended up having intercourse with an eel! The villagers were angry and killed the serpent because they were afraid of its powers (apparently a magical eel?) but were shocked to find out that the eel was a god! Hina was pissed to say the least upon discovering her dead lover and buried his head. Five days later the spot she buried him began to grow a tree that bore coconuts. And that’s how coconuts were made kiddies.

Don’t you like the first story better?

Because she is such an old goddess there are MANY stories on her. Each more different than the last.

In one she was actually the original human and man was only made to pleasure her. Another she was a girl who was seduced by her father. When she found out who he was she ran away to the underworld and was the first death in creation. She was so angry that she vowed to kill anyone begotten by her father. And thus death would always be a thing. In another story her hungover brother slapped her so hard (because her tapa making was too loud) that he sent her flying all the way to the moon! She was also known to be a warrior on a female only island who was practically immortal because every time she went to surf she would gain back a couple of years.

hina tapa

Yeah. I’m still confused. You?


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This entry was posted on 11/13/2014 by in Myth Madness and tagged , .
November 2014
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