A social media post by Hawaiian Airlines flight attendant Malia Mahi went viral recently. She posted a short blurb about noticing a young boy who’s family visited the Big Island of Hawaii carrying a backpack with lava rock. Malia asked the boy where he had gotten the rock. He replied that it was from the Big Island and that it was being taken home as a souvenir.

She explained to the boy why he shouldn’t take it home with him. And a few minutes later, the boy and his family returned several large lava rocks and two bags and black sand that they had in their carry-on bags.

With airline resources and employee connections the lava rocks and black sand were returned to the Big Island of Hawaii.

This story ended up being a blessing in disguise for the mainland family. While they may be a little disappointed not having souvenirs to take home they can be comfortable knowing they did the right thing returning the lava rock to it’s rightful home belonging to Hawaiian Goddess Madame Pele a.k.a. Tūtū Pele.

It’s well known throughout the Islands of Hawaii and among Island Locals, you don’t take lava rock, sand or any other natural resource out of; away from Hawaii. A curse, Hawaiian myth, ancient legend or whatever you want to call it, taking these items out of Hawaii may put yourself at risk witnessing unfavorable happenings; misfortune; bad luck.

The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Volcano Gallery has thousands of documented letters of tourist-visitors returning lava rock and sand to Hawaii because of undesirable events happening within their lives since taking home that “special” souvenir.

Working for the U.S. Postal Service at the Hilo Downtown Station, I myself (Punaboy) have seen boxes containing rocks and sand with accompanying letters being shipped back from the mainland almost daily.

Whether you’re a believer or not is on you, bottom line and moral of it all… have respect, be respectful of the situation and the culture of Hawai’i and its people, the Kanaka Maoli.

Lava Rock Stories & Letters
Hawaii Magazine


Confiscated box of rocks and sand being returned to Pele. If you visit here please respect the Aina and the traditions. Mahalo Bradda Pacs from Hawaiian Airlines and Mermaid Malia from TEAM Mermaid Kariel, for sharing your Mana'o with these tourists and sharing this with us so we can spread the message. #ponolife #aloha

Posted by 808Viral on Wednesday, February 3, 2016