It was here that Maui a hero of Polynesian mythology, leapt from his hiding place in the roots of an old wiliwili tree and lassoed the sun, Kala, with a strong rope. Using a sacred Ko`i, adze, given him by his grandmother, Mahuie, he beat the sun for racing across the sky each day thus not providing the people enough light. Maui broke some of Kala's strongest legs leaving only his weakest ones with which to crawl across the sky, thus providing the people more daylight to dry their banana's and kapa, a cloth made from the bark of the wauke tree, used by the people to make some of their finer clothes.
When asked about Hawaiian volcanoes, most people imagine the Big Island and its eruptions at Kilauea or Mauna Loa volcanoes. But East Maui volcano has witnessed at least ten eruptions in the past 1,000 years, and numerous eruptions have occurred there in the past 10,000 years. Thus the volcano's long eruptive history and recent activity indicate that East Maui volcano will erupt in the future.
Haleakala National Park is the most visited part of East Maui. The Hawaiian name Hale-a-ka-la (lit., house of the sun), is now nearly synonymous with the entire shield of East Maui volcano. Early Hawaiians, however, applied the name only to the summit area, the site where the demigod Maui snared the sun and forced it to slow its journey across the sky.
Hawaii is a chain of 132 island, reefs and shoals. The chain stretches 1500 miles from the Big Island of Hawaii in the SE to Kure Atoll in the NW, The islands are formed primarily of basalt, a dark volcanic rock made from lava that is very fluid. The oldest Hawaiian island, at about 28 million years, is Kure Atoll. The youngest island is the Big Island of Hawaii. It has three active volcanoes, Hualalai, Muna Loa, and Kilauea, and is still growing.
The oldest rocks above sea level on Haleakala are about 910,000 years old. Haleakala volcano’s last eruption was about 1790, near Makeana on the southern part of the island of Maui. The summit of Haleakala is 10,023 feet above sea level. It is the highest point of Maui. The size of Haleakala National Park is 28,665 acres.
Dimensions of Haleakala “Crater”: Area = 19 square miles, Lenght = 7.5 miles long, Width = 2.5 miles wide, Depth = approximately 3,000 feet, Circumference = 21 miles
(Click photos to view the details of Haleakala crater landscapes)