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Big Island, Hawaii   Ahu'ena Heiau
This well-restored religious site was the personal heiau of King Kamehemeha the Great. The heiau was dedicated to the god, Lono. Several tall ki'i akua (statues of god) adorn the area. A bird depicted on the tallest statue is the golden plover. This bird is was said to have lead the ancient Polynesians to Hawaii. King Kamehameha worshipped at this site from 1813 until his death in 1819.
Big Island, Hawaii   Kue'manu Heiau
Ku'emanu Heiau is believed to have been devoted to surfing. It was used to pray for good surfing conditions and to observe surfers offshore. It stands opposite of an excellent surfing break, which is popular up until today.
Big Island, Hawaii   Mookini Luakini Heiau
Mookini Luakini Heiau is one of the oldest and most significant in all of Hawaii. The heiau was designated as Hawaii's first registered National Historic Landmark in 1963. It was built around AD 480. A Tahitian high priest arrived and brought order and structure to the community. This order came with a new tradition: human sacrifice. When there were no sacrifices, the priests allegedly used the temple to communicate with the gods and their long-dead ancestors.
Big Island, Hawaii   Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park
Pu'uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park is a United States National Historical Park located on the west coast of the island of Hawai'i in the U.S. state of Hawai'i. The historical park preserves the site where, up until the early 19th century, Hawaiians who broke a kapu (one of the ancient laws) could avoid certain death by fleeing to this place of refuge or pu'uhonua. The offender would be absolved by a priest and freed to leave. Defeated warriors and non-combatants could also find refuge here during times of battle. The grounds just outside the Great Wall that encloses the puʻuhonua were home to several generations of powerful chiefs.
Big Island, Hawaii   Pu'ukohola Heiau
Pu'ukohola Heiau is a United States National Historic Site located on the northwestern coast of the island of Hawai'i. The site preserves the National Historic Landmark ruins of the last major Ancient Hawaiian temple, and other historic sites. The heiau was completed in 1791 by the king Kamehameha. He held a ceremony, to which he invited his cousin and rival Keoua, the chief of Ka'u. When he came ashore on Pelekane Beach fronting the heiau, Kamehameha killed him and took him to the heiau as a first offering to the gods. After Keoua's death, Kamehameha gained control of the Big Island and all other islands by 1810.
Big Island, Hawaii   Captain Cook Monument
On January 17, 1779, Captain James Cook (the British explorer who discovered the Hawaiian Islands in 1778) and his crew sailed into Kealakekua Bay on the Big Island of Hawaii. The Hawaiians, thinking they were returning gods, gave them a warm welcome and held a feast in their honor. However, a month later he was killed in a conflict between his crew and the Hawaiians. The natives had realized that Cook and his men were mere mortals. In 1878, a 27-foot white obelisk was erected to honor this well-known seafarer.
Big Island, Hawaii   Lapakahi state historical park
Lapakahi State Historical Park is a large area of ruins from an Ancient Hawaiian fishing village in the North Kohala District on the Big Island of Hawai'i. Off shore is the Lapakahi Marine Life Conservation District. The name lapa kahi means "single ridge" in the Hawaiian Language, and applied to the ahupua'a, an ancient land division that ran from the sea up to Kohala Mountain. It is state archaeological site and was added to the National Register of Historic Places on July 2, 1973.
Big Island, Hawaii   Puako Petroglyphs
The Puako petroglyph district offers the visitor the largest gathering of petroglyphs in Hawaii and arguably, the whole Pacific. Roughly 3,000 such carvings can be found on the series of smooth volcanic dome rocks that are found in the area around Puako. Their broad flat surfaces made them ideal for the carving of petroglyph images. But the ideal surface of the rocks alone cannot explain their presence. Scholars agree that this particular site most certainly held spiritual significance to the ancient Hawaiians (other lava dome rocks on the island are untouched).
Big Island, Hawaii   Waikoloa Petroglyphs
The Waikoloa Petroglyph Field is by far one of the most accessible and pronounced Petroglyph Field in the state. It is Hawaii's second largest petroglyph field. The field is an ancient burial ground with the remains of an ancient fishing village. The petroglyphs around the trail are scattered like graffiti everywhere you look. Some are graphic (humans, birds, canoes) and others cryptic (dots, lines). Western influences appear in the form of horses and English initials.
Big Island, Hawaii   Ahu A 'Umi Heiau
Ahu A 'Umi Heiau means "shrine at the temple of 'Umi" in the Hawaiian Language. It was built for 'Umi-a-Liloa, often called 'Umi, who ruled the island of Hawai'i early in the 16th century. Ahu A 'Umi Heiau was also the place where the great chief Keawe Nui a 'Umi (the son of 'Umi) hid to escape death from a strong ali'i, Kalepuni, who attempted to take over Keawe Nui a 'Umi’s rule. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on August 13, 1974.
Big Island, Hawaii   Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park
Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park is a United States National Historical Park located in the Kona District on the Big island of Hawai'i in the U.S. state of Hawai'i. It includes the National Historic Landmarked archaeological site known as the Honokōhau Settlement. The park was established on November 10, 1978, for the preservation, protection and interpretation of traditional native Hawaiian activities and culture.
Big Island, Hawaii   Birthplace of Kamehameha III
Kauikeaouli was born at Keauhou Bay, on Hawai'i island, the largest island in the Hawaiian Islands archipelago. He was the second son of King Kamehameha I and his highest ranking wife, Queen Keōpūolani of Maui. The precise date is not known. He was promised to Kuakini in hānai, but at birth he appeared to be delivered stillborn, Kuakini did not wish to take him. But Chief Kaikio'ewa summoned his kaula (prophet) Kapihe who declared the baby would live. Kauikeaouli was cleansed, laid on a rock, fanned, prayed over and sprinkled with water until he breathed, moved and cried. The prayer of Kapihe was to Ka'ōnohiokalā, "Child of God". The rock is preserved as a monument at Keauhou Bay.
Big Island, Hawaii   Pu'u Loa Petroglyph
One of the best, and largest petroglyph fields on the Big Island is the Panau-nui Pu'u Loa petroglyph field in the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. This particular field consists of over 15,000 individual petroglyph images that have been scratched and pecked into the hard pahoehoe surface.
Big Island, Hawaii   David Douglas monument
David Douglas (25 June 1799 – 12 July 1834) was a Scottish botanist. He worked as a gardener, and explored the Scottish Highlands, North America, and Hawaii, where he died. A monument was built at the spot where Douglas died by members of the Hilo Burns Society including David McHattie Forbes. It is called Ka lua kauka ("Doctor's Pit" in the Hawaiian language), off Mānā Road on the Island of Hawai'i
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