The Hawaiian Dragon

Dragon History

The Hawaiian Dragon

MOO-KUNA: The Hawaiian Dragon
by Marisa E. Martínez Pérsico

Moo-Kuna: The Hawaiian DragonOther famous Australian dragon is Hawaiian, known as MOO-Kuna. “MOO” makes reference to the figure of reptile, whereas “kuna” alludes to an unknown creature. Since the Hawaiians do not have any established animal hierarchy, we must pay attention to the popular folklore to learn about this mythical race of dragons.

Originally, Kuna was a malevolent creature who polluted the waters of channels and rivers that developed a great hatred against the goddess Hina, mother of the Maui hero. By means of deceits, it managed to lead her towards his cave. The encounter culminated with a magical battle between both, that included a competition of songs and the final curse made by Kuna. Hina, trapped, called Maui so that it would come to rescue her and caught the dragon thanks to a magical bucket. Soon, he burned it within lava. The earthquakes that were originated from this battle reflect the mythical belief that the serpent-dragons had important influence in the Earth creation.

Kuna used the water to deceive its enemy, but it was by means of the fire –lava- that the Maui hero managed to fight the dragon and burn his thick skin. An important element of this mythology is that the rolls of the nature are reversed: the water no longer is associated with “good” and the fire with “the bad”, but the other way around.

The dragons play a fundamental role within the Hawaiian culture: they are creatures venerated through their God, Kamohoalii (Ka-moho-ali'i), the king of the dragons, known later as “the king of the sharks”. They are fabulous creatures equipped with a multiplicity of supernatural capacities: they can undergo diverse metamorphosis or generate them in others. In the same way, the dragons are dual beings by nature, which maintain strong bonds with the Earth, the trees and the earthly world. They are heterogeneous creatures; creatures of the air whose stronger bonds are with the water. 

It is important to mention that in the north of Australia, during the rite of the circumcision, the “Serpent of the Rainbow” must swallow the candidate, who then goes into a state of unconsciousness next to the death. From this state he emerges with more strength and it’s said that “he is re-born”. This one, as we see, is an entirely spiritual concept.

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Fafnir, the Nordic Dragon

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