According to Hawaiian mythology, there were two goddesses who were worshipped in temples, Kihawahine and Haumea. Kihawahine, a chiefess of Maui is a god-like female lizard or dragon. Haumea is the goddess of fertility and childbirth. She is the mother of Pele.
Haumea took the chief of Oahu, Puna, as her husband. Haumea looked forward to a happy marriage with Chief Puna, but the fertility goddess wasn’t aware that Kihawahine wanted Puna for herself. One day Puna went looking for a good surf spot on O’ahu. While waiting for waves Puna noticed a beautiful woman, Kihawahine, floating in the Hawaiian waters. Kihawahine called out to Puna, telling the chief to follow her to a better surf spot far outside the reef. The dragon goddess had lured Puna so far out to sea they ended up on the Island of Molokai.
As a couple, Kihawahine and Puna lived in a Molokai cave. She took care of him and prepared his food, and treated him well so long he stayed near her side and not anger her. It wasn’t a difficult life for Puna, but in essence, he was a prisoner, not being able to surf, and leaving the island would surely mean death for him. Puna realized his new wife and captor, in fact, was the dragon goddess who angered easily having a short and cruel temper.
One day at the cave Puna heard far-off voices and cheers of a crowd. He asked Kihawahine what the noises were and where was it coming from. She told him it was people gathering to watch surf-riding. Missing life near the sea Puna begged Kihawahine to let him go to the ocean. Hesitantly, she granted his request. While at the shoreline Puna saw his his brother-in-law Hinole, who recognized him and invited him to his house to eat and talk.
Hinole informed Puna of the true nature of Kihawahine, telling him to tread softly and go easy, not to awake her as he returned to the cave. Doing so, Puna discovered Kihawahine in her true form, a mo’o, lizard woman; dragon goddess with a vicious temperament. Hinole explained to Puna how he could escape his imprisonment. Puna carried out the plan pretending to be sick. He asked Kehawahine to get water on Mauna Kea, from Poliahu, Goddess of snow atop Mauna a Wakea. Puna made a small hole in the water gourd delaying Kihawahine, giving himself enough time to escape to the volcano on the Island of Hawai’i. He found refuge in a village in Ka’u.
Kihawahine knew she had been tricked and angrily called all the dragons of Molokai, Lanai, Maui, Kaho’olawe and Hawai’i instructing them to fly to the pit of Pele in search of Puna. Kihawahine demanded her husband back, but the people of Ka’u protected Puna refusing to let her near Puna and telling her to find her own husband. Unwilling to comply, Kihawahine ordered the dragons to throw their flaming drooling saliva into Pele’s pit causing an explosion of fire and earthquakes destroying much of the surroundings.
Puna was able to escape back to O’ahu to be with his first wife, Haumea. They lived happily together in the mountains above Kalihi-uka. Kihawahine never stopped looking for Puna. She tracked down Hinole on the Island of Molokai and approached with plans to kill him, but Hinole saw the revengeful lizard woman coming. Knowing her intentions Hinole jumped into the sea turning into a Hinalea, a fish that Hawaiian fisherman so dearly love.
One day Puna went for a walk ending up at a banana plantation belonging to the new chief of O’ahu, Kou. Puna fell asleep after eating bananas and was found by Kou’s watchmen. They tied his hands behind his back and brought him to their chief, who killed him and hung the body in the branches of a breadfruit (ulu) tree. Upset of her husbands death, Haumea commanded the ulu tree to open its trunk, she stepped inside, then to close itself around her. Parts of Puna’s body fell to the ground through the ulu tree branches and was eaten by Chief Kou’s dog. The dog returned to Chief Kou, leaped up, bitting him at the throat and killing him.