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5 must-see Oahu historic sites you haven't been to yet


Kukaniloko Birthstone State Monument

Kukaniloko Birthstone State Monument is located on a five-acre field in the central Oahu’s upland Wahiawa town, considered the piko (Hawaiian for “belly button”) of the island. The roughly 180 lava-rock stones of the monument, once used as a royal birthsite, are believed to possess the power to ease the labor pains of childbirth. It is also estimated to be more than 900 years-old.

Tips for visiting Hawaii archeological sites:

Hawai‘i’s archeological sites are fragile and subject to damage and collapse. Pay proper respect these historic and cultural places by following these tips.

• Learn some history before you go.
Doing some research on the culture and history of these sites before you visit is always a good idea. Many of the sites lack interpretative signs or brochures, so learning  a bit about their importance will give you a great appreciation for and deeper connection to the site.

• Be quiet. Being respectful of these sites—many of them sacred to Hawaiians—is important. Sometimes, that means taking in everything you see in silence.

• Visit from the outside. This is particularly true for places with rock walls. Don’t climb on the walls or over them as the stacked rocks may be unstable and collapse.

• Don’t take anything. It’s unlawful to take, excavate, destroy or alter any historic site on state land. Any person who violates this law is subject to a fine of $10,000.

• Don’t leave anything. It’s not appropriate to leave offerings at these historic and cultural sites. No rocks wrapped in ti leaves. No incense. No bottles of alcohol. This is not appropriate.

Photos: Wikipedia Commons (pgs. 1, 2, 4, 5); Manoa Heritage Center (pg. 3)

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