Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Our National Parks.’ See more responses here. There are two national parks on the island. One is Hawaii Volcanoes National Park which encompasses Kilauea Volcano and Mauna Loa Volcano. The other is the somewhat lesser known Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, which is also known as Place of Refuge.

There are two parts to the park, which are separated by an imposing rock wall. On the inland side of the wall are the grounds where Hawaiian royalty made their home. The water side of the wall was the place of refuge. Anyone who had broken the law or kapu faced the death penalty, but if they could reach a place of refuge they would be forgiven by a priest and allowed to return to their normal lives.

At one end of the wall is the Hale o Keawe temple, surrounded by ki’i (wooden statues). This structure houses the bones of many Hawaiian royalty or ali’i, which are believed to give the place great power or mana.

For more photos and information on this site about these parks, click on the tags for Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park or Hawaii Volcanoes National Park at the bottom of this page.

For more information about Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, visit https://www.nps.gov/puho/index.htm. For more information about Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, go to nps.gov/havo/.

6 thoughts on “Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park

    1. Graham Post author

      It’s on the west side of the island, a little way south of Captain Cook. It’s right next door to Two Step, a pretty good snorkeling spot, so I like to explore the park and then go for a swim or vice versa.

      Liked by 1 person


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