Pu'uhonua o Hoaunau, Place of Refuge

Pu'uhonua o Hoaunau, "Place of Refuge of Honauhau", site today consists of an area partially surrounded by a thousand-foot-long wall of pahoehoe lava about seventeen feet thick and ten feet high. The north side of the structure is open to the bay and the west side to the sea. Within or next to the enclosure were several significant structures, including the Hale-o-Keawe, the 'Ale'ale'a Heiau, the "Old Heiau," and the Hale-o-Papa (Women's Heiau). Other notable features include a konane stone (papamu), a fisherman's shrine, and two large stones, one reportedly serving as a hiding place for Queen Ka'ahumanu during a quarrel with her husband King Kamehameha and the other used by Chief Keoua. A small enclosure east of Hale-o-Keawe contains two fishponds used by Hawaiian royalty. The Hale-o-Keawe housed the bones of the paramount chiefs descended from 'Umi and Liloa, some placed in wicker caskets woven in anthropomorphic shapes.

Text from:      "A Cultural History of Three Traditional Hawaiian Sites on the West Coast of Hawai'i Island"

by Linda Wedel Greene

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