|Heiau Hapaiali‘i, Kahalu‘u, Kona, Hawai‘i Island|
We just held our 26th Annual Society for Hawaiian Archaeology conference on the sacred Ali‘i (Royal Hawaiian) lands of Kahalu‘u-Keauhou, Kona, Hawai‘i Island (Oct. 19-21, 2012).
It is always a humbling privilege to return to the ancient land and waters of Kahalu‘u – our first home in Hawai‘i was here (and Keauhou) for nearly nine years, along with my first true introduction to the sacred and intricate layers of history found within these islands.
|Kahalu‘u Bay, showing the "Paokamenehune" breakwater|
Many significant changes have been made here since we moved away.
|Ke‘eku (upper) and Hapaiali‘i Heiau, October 19, 2012|
|Mahealani Pai explaining their community's efforts to restore the Kahalu‘u cultural landscape. Note the large pohaku niho (base stone) behind him, Oct. 2012.|
|Before (lower photo) and after. Photos by Billy Fields 2009.|
|From "Kaneiolouma Historical Overview" 2010 by Randy Wichman|
Cultural Historian Kepa Maly, for The Kohala Center, has compiled a very detailed collection of references about this sacred place for those interested.
Section from Kelsey and Kekahuna's 1952 map
Through radiocarbon c14 dating, Hapaiali‘i Heiau was likely constructed around AD 1411-1465. One of the heiau functions is a “solar calendar” for foretelling seasons and significant events. Stone alignments on the heiau point to the sun setting on the Southwest corner during winter’s solstice (Ke Alanui Polohiwa), on the Northwest corner during summer solstice (Ke Alanui a Kane), and directly in the middle of the West (Komohana) wall during spring equinox.
|Kalei Nuuhiwa explaining the solar calendar to local school kids on-top Heiau Hapaialii|
As for Heiau Ke‘eku, traditional stories say that Chief Kamalalawalu of Maui, trying to invade, was defeated by Lonoikamakahiki and sacrificed at the Ke‘eku heiau. Although I haven't seen them, there are supposed to be several petroglyphs carved here associated with its history. Local mo‘olelo (traditional stories) tells of the two dog spirits dedicated to Kamalalawalu, Kauakahi‘oka‘oka and Kapapako, who continue to grieve and guard his spirit and this place today. Their ki‘i (or rock art images) are carved on a pahoehoe lava flat and can be seen today during some low tides. Heiau Ke‘eku is also thought to have been a "pu‘uhonua" or place of refuge. There are numerous mo‘olelo for these heiau and as previously mentioned, Kepa Maly has compiled a good file for the Kohala Center.
|Heiau Ke‘eku where modern-day Ki‘i Kū stand guard,|
Hawai‘i Island wooden carved images of the Hawaiian God Kū
|Looking toward Heiau Ke‘eku, Kahalu‘u, Oct. 2012.|
E hō mai (i) ka ʻike mai luna mai ē ,
ʻO nā mea huna noʻeau o nā mele ē,
E hō mai, e hō mai, e hō mai ē (a)
Give forth knowledge from above,
Every little bit of wisdom contained in song ,
Give forth, give forth, oh give forth
Mahalo for visiting my little blog!
Mālama pono, a hui hou,
~ Victoria ❤