Not far from the coast, in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, is Pu‘u Loa petroglyphs trail. It’s only a mile and a half round trip, but visits a place with a huge number of petroglyphs. A raised boardwalk circles part of this area, giving a good view of the petroglyphs without adversely impacting them.
One of the main features of this area and its petroglyph field is explained on a display seen in the photo to the left. It reads, ‘The name Pu‘uloa (large hill) carries a kaona (hidden meaning)—hill of long life. Families with genealogical ties to these lands come here to place the piko (umbilical cord) of their child. Their hope is that the mana (spiritual guiding energy) of Pu‘uloa would bless that child with a long and prosperous life, and root them to their ancestral lands. Each puka (hole) is created to house a single child’s piko. Of over 23,000 petroglyphs found at Pu‘uloa, 16,000 are piko-related carvings—a testament to the importance of both Pu‘uloa and ‘ohana (family).’
For more information about Pu‘u Loa petroglyphs, go to https://www.nps.gov/havo/learn/historyculture/puuloa.htm.
(On the park’s website, Pu‘u Loa is two words, but on the sign it is one word, hence the inconsistency.)