Pele's Curse is the belief that anything natively Hawaiian, such as sand, rock, or pumice, will bring bad luck on whoever takes it away from Hawaii. One version about the legend's genesis is this: a disgruntled park ranger, angry at the number of rocks that were being taken from the islands by visitors, said that Pele would curse them with bad luck should they take anything. Another version often told is that bus drivers, tired of the dirt and grime brought on their buses by the tourists' collection of rocks, started the story at the beginning of each tour to discourage the rock collecting.
So, although the legend itself is probably of twentieth-century origin, the removal of rocks as souvenirs is now frowned upon by Hawaiians. Also, it is illegal to remove minerals from within a U.S. national park.
- "The Story of Pele". Sergeking.com. Retrieved 2010-10-11.
- Julie Cart, Los Angeles Times (2001-05-17). "Hawaii's hot rocks blamed by tourists for bad luck". Sfgate.com. Retrieved 2010-10-11.