PU'UHONUA O HONAUNAUPlace of Refuge of Honaunau
This is a national historical park set aside by Congress on July 1, 1961. 180 acres of coastline are being restored to its appearance in the late 1700's. The park is located on the isand of Hawaii, south of Kona. The extensive grounds include a palace, a temple, and a Great Wall, among other important artifacts.
This place is about life-a place of refuge. Noncombatants in time of battle, defeated warriors, and kapu breakers could escape death if they could reach this sacred refuge. And from here came the call to life, for near the refuge lived the alii, or ruling chief, who proclaimed the great celebrations of life.
It was a sanctuary that provided the people with a second chance-a second chance for life itself. Those who had broken the sacred laws, or kapus, were customarily put to death. But a ceremony of absolution could be performed by the kahuna pule, so the offender could return home safely. During times of war, those too old or young to fight could find safety here, for even in brutal battle, life was preserved in the pu'uhonua. Defeated warriors could wait in safety until the battle was over, before going on with their lives under a new ruling chief.
No matter who came here or why, this was a place of sanctuary where all was forgiven. It was not
a city of criminals as the name might suggest. It was sacred ground on which life began anew in
Click on the pictures to see a bigger version.
|temple overlooking a small bay and beach||pathway through the coconut palm grove|
|carvings next to the temple||reconstructed third temple that housed the bones of 23 chiefs|
|the Great Wall-1000 feet long, 10 feet high||the end of the wall-17 feet wide, 1000feet long|
|sacred heiau next to the temple||carvings outside third temple|
Hope you liked our little tour of this beautiful park in the tradition of old Hawaii.
Come back again.
Have you seen the north shore town of PAIA?