Tuesday, July 03, 2007
The Pu‘uhonua o Hõnaunau National Historical Park
According to the National Park Service web site “this place provided refuge to Hawaiians who came here. Today, the park continues as a sanctuary for visitors seeking a peaceful place and as a safe haven for all of the native wildlife living here.”
A place of refuge or pu‘uhonua provides safe haven for fugitives for breaking certain laws in ancient Hawaiian culture. The only escape from punishment by death is by eluding their pursuers to the safe confines of a place of refuge. “Many ki'i (carved wooden images) surround the Hale o Keawe, housing the bones of the chiefs that infuse the area with their power or mana. If you reached this sacred place, you would be saved.”
This place was built around 1550 though certain wooden structures have to be replaced periodically because of the tropical environment.
June 2005, The Big Island of Hawai’i