Located on the southern Kona coast along Honaunau Bay (pronounced Ho-Now-Now) is a sanctuary known as Pu’uhonua o Honaunau. Say that ten times fast. 🙂 And our last-minute decision to stop by this National Park was probably one of the best last-minute decisions EVER. (I found out later that Lonely Planet Hawaii ranked this National Park as one of the top ten things to do on the Big Island; boy did we get lucky to stumble upon this gem.)
Pu’uhonua o Honaunau, also known as The Place of Refuge, is a palm tree paradise. A grove of coconut trees provides much-needed shade as you absorb the rich Hawaiian history and wander the exhibits of grass huts, wooden canoes, and hand-carved tiki statues. This sanctuary was originally built for royal chiefs and because royal bones are still upon the land, the area is considered sacred, so much respect should be paid when visiting.
Wondering why Pu’uhonua o Honaunau is known as the Place of Refuge? Pu’uhonua is the word for: sanctuary–a place that gave people a second chance. Ancient Hawaiians were ruled by a taboo system called, kapu (sacred laws), and violators of the kapu would face severe punishment, often times Death. Blood could not be shed within the confines of the sanctuary, so those who broke the kapu had to essentially out-run and out-swim the warriors to safety. This meant crossing open ocean, surviving deadly sharks, and swimming through strong currents, and if they were able to make it to the sacred Pu’uhonua alive their acts would be absolved by a priest and they were free to go home.
How crazy is that??
This sacred place was basically one big postcard, and I’ll admit, my husband and I mayyyyyyybe went a little bit shutter-happy. Hope you enjoy the photos.
14 thoughts on “A Tiki Sanctuary”
One of my favourite stops when we were in Kona. I should post some of my shots from there for another perspective. Hawaii is so stunning. It remains my favourite place ever.
I loved all the pictures! I want to go back to Hawaii some day.
Thank you! Hawaii is incredible. I can’t wait to go back one day too! 🙂
I’ve never been to the big island. My husband has never been to any of the islands. Hopefully, we will get to go soon. It’s just a long flight from Texas.
I really liked the Big Island. Kauai and Maui are still my favorites but the Big Island has a lot to offer! 🙂 I hear you on the long flights… It’s not so bad going there, but on the way home it always feels 10 times longer. 😉 Texas! Are you a football fan by chance? 🙂
I’ve never been to Kauai, but my sister goes there every other year! She says it’s the only island for her. 🙂
We are HUGE football fans! I don’t know how you live in TX & aren’t a football fan. It’s a way of life here. 🙂
You’ll have to try and go with your sister soon, Kauai is the BEST!
I’m a huge Dallas Cowboys fan! Born and raised!! 🙂
We can like you then. :)) We only live about 10 min. from “Jerry’s World”, as the stadium is known around here. It’s a sight to see in and of itself.
We went about two years back to cross it off my bucket list! It was amazing! I really want to take my dad back there one day! Arlington is a beautiful city! 🙂
I hope you can do that!
Wonderful shots! Looks like you had a great day, I miss those blue skies and the ocean 🙂
Thanks, Kristina. I miss the ocean too. One of these days I will move to be closer to the ocean. Hope you’re having a great day!! 🙂