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Pana O`ahu

Pana O`ahu: Sacred Stones, Sacred Land

Jan Becket
Joseph Singer
Kēhaunani Cachola–Abad
J. Mikilani Ho
Kāwika Makanani
Copyright Date: 1999
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  • Book Info
    Pana O`ahu
    Book Description:

    Few regions of the United States can equal the high concentration of endangered ancient cultural sites found in Hawaii. Built by the indigenous people of the Islands, the sites range in age from two thousand to two hundred years old and in size and extent from large temple complexes serving the highest order of chiefs to modest family shrines. Today, many of these structures are threatened by their proximity to urban development. Sites are frequently vandalized or, worse, bulldozed to make way for hotels, golf courses, marinas, and other projects. The sixty heiau photographed and described in this volume are all located on Oahu, the island that has experienced by far the most development over the last two hundred years. These captivating images provide a compelling argument for the preservation of Hawaiian sacred places. The modest sites of the maka‘ainana (commoners)—small fishing, agricultural, craft, and family shrines—are given particular attention because they are often difficult to recognize and prone to vandalism and neglect. Also included are the portraits of twenty-eight Hawaiians who shared their knowledge with archaeologist J. Gilbert McAllister during his survey of Oahu in the 1930s. Without their contribution, the names and histories of many of the heiau would have been lost. The introductory text provides important contextual information about the definition and function of heiau, the history of the abolition of traditional Hawaiian religion, preservation issues, and guidelines for visiting heiau.

    eISBN: 978-0-8248-6384-5
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. I-VI)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. VII-VII)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. VIII-X)
    Marion Kelly

    The purpose of this book is to record for future generations, as accurately and in as beautiful a light as possible, the remains of the ancient sacred sites on the island of O‘ahu. These structures were the works of the indigenous people of the Hawaiian Islands—theKānaka Maoli(the true people), as they described themselves to early visitors. Some of these sites may have been built two thousand years ago, and others perhaps as late as the eighteenth century. Most have probably been built since the fifteenth century.

    Someheiau(sacred sites) were large national temples used for ceremonies...

  4. Preface
    (pp. XI-XV)
  5. Acknowledgements
    (pp. XVI-XVIII)
    Jan Becket and Joseph Singer
  6. Introduction
    (pp. XIX-XXX)
    Kēhaunani Cachola–Abad, J. Mikilani Ho and Kāwika Makanani

    Nearly two hundred years after the ending of the‘ai kapu¹² and with it the formal structure of Hawaiian religion,heiauremain an important part of Hawaiian culture.¹³ Despite current efforts of Hawaiians to record, preserve, and use these sites, much information about them has been lost, obscured, or purposely kept secret through the generations. What we know about them today largely comes from native Hawaiian informants of the early 1900s. Archaeologists and historians relied upon them to identify which sites wereheiauand to explain how they were used. Today, after over two centuries of westernization, such informants are...

    (pp. XXXII-XXXIV)
  8. Kona
    (pp. 1-32)

    Only sixahupua‘a(land divisions) formed the pre-Māhele Kona District: Moanalua, Kahauiki, Kalihi, Kapālama, Honolulu, and Waikīkī. The largestahupua‘a,Waikīkī, stretched approximately from Makiki to Maunalua.⁷⁴ All of theseahupua‘awere endowed with a comfortable climate, abundant rain, flowing streams, pools, springs, well-watered lowlands, fine harbors, lagoons, and attractive beaches. Most of the year, favorable trade winds swept into Kona over the Ko‘olau Range at the heads of deep valleys: Moanalua, Kalihi, Nu‘uanu, Mānoa Pālolo, Wailupe, Niu, and Kuli‘ou‘ou.

    Several battles in Kona affected the course of Hawaiian history. The seventeenth-centuryali‘i nuiKūali‘i, who resided in Kailua, traveled...

  9. ‘Ewa
    (pp. 33-58)

    The largest district, ‘Ewa, also encompasses the widest coastal plain on O‘ahu. Much of its coastal area is an emerged seabed formed of coral in the Pleistocene era, when sea levels were higher than at present by as much as forty–five meters. In ‘Ewa,Kānaka Maolipracticed limited agriculture within shallow sinkholes, some of which still containandnoniplants. Long ago, the ‘Ewa District was calledka ‘āpana o‘Ewa. Its vast plain included portions of what is now called Wahiawā. Themoku,it must not be forgotten, also extends to encompass a swath of the Ko‘olau...

  10. Wai‘anae
    (pp. 59-84)

    The Wai‘anae District in pre-Māhele days extended south from the leeward slopes of the Wai‘anae Range toward the ‘Ewa District, and west toward the leeward coast. It included a long, narrow strip of land, formerly known as Wai‘ anae Uka, that stretched across Kolekole Pass all the way to the windward Ko‘olau Range, sandwiched between Waialua and ‘Ewa Districts.

    Only four small streams flow out of the Wai‘anae Range onto the coastal plains. Poor rainfall and soil further contribute to marginal agriculture.¹²⁸ The hot, dry climate, however, favored a crop ofipu mānalo(sweet gourds), highly prized as gifts and...

  11. Waialua
    (pp. 85-108)

    The district of Waialua was large, encompassing about seventy-eight square miles, including fourteenahupua‘a. According to legend, Waialua—which might mean “doubly disgraceful”—arose from the name of a cruel chief who was eventually driven off by the people. As a result some chiefs chose not to live in Waialua, despite its attractive land and seacoast. A more mundane interpretation is that the name refers to the joining of two streams. In pre-Māhele days, Waialua prospered and became famous as an oracle center of O‘ahu and as the home of manykāhunaand their schools. Its abundant, wellirrigated‘uala(sweet...

  12. Ko‘olauloa
    (pp. 109-126)

    The northern Ko‘olauloa District, backed by low mountains, has a relatively dry climate. However, in ancient times it supported spring-fedlo‘i kalo(taro terraces) in certain areas, such as the place called Kapuna (the spring) behind the Mormon Temple.¹⁶⁶ In the southern half of the district, moist trade winds driving upward against steeppali(cliffs) of the windward Ko‘olau Range became rain that fed large streams and extensivelo‘i kaloin the deepest southern valleys of the district: Punalu‘u, Kahana, and Ka‘a‘awa.

    During fishing seasons, it was customary for farmers to leave theirlo‘i kalo. At other times they observed...

  13. Ko‘olaupoko
    (pp. 127-164)

    Ko‘olaupoko and Ko‘olauloa Districts are often described as a unified land area owing to their similar topography of high-peaked mountains, deep valleys, wide and fertile coastal plains, and swift streams that irrigated upland taro and crops of ‘uala, uhi(yam),mai‘a(banana),wauke(paper mulberry),olonā(a native shrub used for cordage), and ‘awa(a mildly narcotic native shrub used in ceremonies). However, the topography of the two districts differs in several respects.

    In contrast to Ko‘olauloa, with its deep valleys and narrow coastline, the sevenahupua‘aof northern Ko‘olaupoko from Waikāne to Kāne‘ ohe today form a continuous coastal...

  14. Notes
    (pp. 165-170)
  15. Glossary of Proper Names
    (pp. 171-173)
  16. Glossary of Hawaiian Terms
    (pp. 174-178)
  17. Bibliography
    (pp. 179-181)
  18. Index
    (pp. 182-184)
  19. Back Matter
    (pp. 185-186)