A lot of people go to Hawai’i and lounge on the beach or snorkel in the crystal clear waters. I, on the other hand, spent my time visiting historical and cultural sites. Here are some of those sites from my trip to the Big Island in 2014.
In order to get to Mo’okini Heiau, you either have to have a vehicle that can traverse very a rough road or walk two miles along ‘Upolu Point Road (park near ‘Upolu Airport).
It is believed that Mo’okini Heiau was constructed by a Taitian kahuna named Pa’ao between the 10th and 14th centuries, but may have been built as early as AD 480 by kahuna nui Kuamo’o Mo’okini. His direct descendants still care for the land today. Mo’okini Heiau was home to the god Ku.
Puʻukoholā Heiau National Historic Park
Kapoukahi, a kahuna from Kauaʻi prophesied that the war between Kamehameha, Keoua Ku’ahu‘ula, and Keawemauhili over control of the Big Island would end if Kamehameha built a luakini heiau. It took thousands of men a year to construct it, moving one rock at a time from Pololū Valley, 14 miles away, in a human chain. Construction was completed in 1791. After the Battle of Nuʻuanu on Oʻahu in 1795, Kamehameha united the islands under his rule.
Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historic Park
This place was a safe haven for kapu breakers, defeated warriors, and refugees. Keaweikehahiali’iokamoku and Queen Ka’ahumanu, the great-grandfather and favorite wife of Kamehameha I, respectively, lived here in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Punalu’u Nui Heiau (aka Kane’ele’ele, Halelau, and Maile’kini) was the luakini (human sacrifice temple) for the district. It’s believed to have been constructed sometime between 600 AD and 1200 AD.