PUʻU HONUA O HŌNAUNAU

Address: 1871 Trail, Captain Cook, HI 96704
Area: 182 acres
Phone: (808) 328-2326
Established: July 26, 1955
Management: U.S. National Park Service

Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park is a United States National Historical Park located on the west coast of the island of Hawaiʻi in the U.S. state of Hawaiʻi.

Pu'uhonua o Honaunau

Pu’uhonua o Honaunau

Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park is a United States National Historical Park located on the west coast of the island of Hawaiʻi in the U.S. state of Hawaiʻi.

Directions:

From Kailua-Kona: Take Highway 11 south, approximately 20 miles. Between mileposts 103 and 104, at the Honaunau Post Office, turn right towards the ocean onto Hwy 160. Travel 3.5 miles and turn left at the Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park sign. Travel times will vary due to ongoing construction in North Kona.

From Hilo, going north: Take Hwy 19 to the junction of Hwy 190 in Waimea. As the road bends follow Hwy 190 until it intersects with Hwy 11 and turn left. (Hwy 11 is also known as Hawaii Belt Road and Queen Kaahumanu Hwy). Between mileposts 103 and 104, at the Honaunau Post Office, turn right towards the ocean onto Hwy 160. Travel 3.5 miles then turn left at the Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park sign. Total travel distance is approximately 116 miles.

From Hilo, going south: Take Hwy 11 south past Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, and the towns of Pahala and Naalehu. Between milesposts 103 and 104, at the Honaunau Post Office, turn left towards the ocean onto Hwy 160. Travel 3.5 miles then turn left at the Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historic Park sign. Total travel distance is approximately 107 miles.

The Puuhonua

Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park is a United States National Historical Park located on the west coast of the island of Hawaiʻi in the U.S. state of Hawaiʻi. The historical park preserves the site where, up until the early 19th century, Hawaiians who broke a kapu (one of the ancient laws) could avoid certain death by fleeing to this place of refuge or puʻuhonua. The offender would be absolved by a priest and freed to leave. Defeated warriors and non-combatants could also find refuge here during times of battle. The grounds just outside the Great Wall that encloses the puʻuhonua were home to several generations of powerful chiefs.

The Park

The 420 acre (1.7 km2) site was originally established in 1955 as City of Refuge National Historical Park and was renamed on November 10, 1978. In 2000 the name was changed by the Hawaiian National Park Language Correction Act of 2000 observing the Hawaiian spelling. It includes the puʻuhonua and a complex of archeological sites including: temple platforms, royal fishponds, sledding tracks, and some coastal village sites. The Hale o Keawe temple and several thatched structures have been reconstructed.

Hale O Keawe Heiau

The park contains a reconstruction of the Hale O Keawe heiau, which was originally built by a Kona chief named Kanuha in honor of his father King Keaweʻīkekahialiʻiokamoku. After the death of Keaweʻīkekahialiʻiokamoku, his bones were entombed within the heiau. The nobility (ali’i) of Kona continued to be buried until the abolition of the kapu system. The last person buried here was a son of Kamehameha I in 1818.

It was believed that additional protection to the place of refuge was received from the mana in the bones of the chiefs. it survived several years after other temples were destroyed. It was looted by Lord George Byron (cousin of the distinguished English poet) in 1825.  In 1829, High Chiefess Kapiʻolani removed the remaining bones and hid them in the Pali Kapu O Keōua cliffs above nearby Kealakekua Bay. She then ordered this last temple to be destroyed. The bones were later moved to the Royal Mausoleum of Hawaii in 1858.

The park was used as a background in Where in the U.S.A. is Carmen Sandiego? when the player goes to Hawaii.

 

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