Waiau and her sisters Poliahu, Lilinoe, and Kahoupokane—daughters of Haumea and Kane— were born fully formed on Mauna Kea, the now dormant Hawaiian volcano. Their father lived with them for a while. Before departing for further adventures, he created the sacred pond Waiau, naming it in honor of the daughter who tends it. The sisters bathe in the pond, drink its water, and are charged with protecting it from desecration.

Waiau is considered one of Pelé’s principal and most formidable rivals. (Do not place them on the same altar.) She is both a volcano goddess and a spirit of water, presiding over Mauna Kea’s subterranean reservoirs. Lake Waiau is known as the bottomless lake, traditionally considered an entrance to the Underworld. Goddess Waiau presides over this portal.



Sacred site:

Lake Waiau in the Pu’u Waiau cinder cone on Mauna Kea, Hawaii.


  • Haumea
  • Kahoupokane
  • Kane
  • Lilinoe
  • Pelé
  • Poliahu


Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses – Written by Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.

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