There is an old Hawaiian story about a young woman who caught too much fish on the Westside of Kaua‘i and wasn’t able to give it all away.
Without knowing what to do with so much catch, the woman felt really bad that she would waste all that food and started crying.
Hawaiian goddess Pele heard the woman’s cries and felt sorry for her. So Pele took the form of an old woman, and brought the young woman to an area near the shore where crystals filled shallow pools. Pele then told the woman to rub the crystals on the fish, so they would be preserved.
Pele then dug a hole, and it was filled with water. She told the young woman to keep water in the shallow pools, and the sun would create more crystals.
This is how Hawaiians learned to use pa‘akai, or sea salt.