Top 5 favorite Hawaii parks: HAWAII Magazine Facebook poll resultsby: Maureen O'Connell
posted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 11:10 AM
Puuhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park — Big Island
Puuhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park, on the coast of Honaunau Bay in the south Kona area, preserves a site where, up until the early 19th century, Hawaiians who broke a kapu (the culture’s strict laws) could avoid certain death by fleeing to a puuhonua. The offender would then be absolved by a priest and then let go. During battles, defeated warriors and non-combatants could also find refuge at a puuhonua. Among the highlights of a self-guided walking tour at Puuhonua O Honaunau: fierce kii, or wooden images of gods that guard a temple area called Hale o Keawe Heiau. (The temple housed the bones of 23 Early Hawaiian chiefs.). Adjacent to the puuhonua area, are royal grounds once a favored residence of Hawaiian chiefs (alii). Last fall, Puuhonua O Honaunau — one of the last preserved places of refuge in Hawaii — marked its 50th anniversary as a unit of the National Park Service.
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