Ancient Place


Ancient Place. The summit of Kilauea volcano, Uwekahuna, rises four hundred feet above the caldera floor, where the luminescent gases of Halema‘uma‘u crater mark the presence of its molten lava lake. Mauna Loa, earth’s largest volcano, towers above Kilauea, its gently sloping flank only hinting at its immensity.
Mauna Loa and Halema‘uma‘u crater are homes to Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of volcanoes, and are wahikapu or sacred places. In March 2008, after twenty-six years of quiet, the floor of Halema‘uma‘u ruptured as deep magma pushed its way toward the surface, causing explosions and billowing gas emissions, but no visible red lava. With time and countless tremors, the gas conduit slowly widened, developing into a growing lava lake perched just below the crater’s floor. Mauna Loa last erupted in 1984, sending lava flows almost into Hilo.

Original painting size: 16in. × 12in.