is also called by many locals The Place of Refuge is a very important place for
Hawaiian history. In ancient Hawaii the rule of law was the kapu
system where there were forbidden things and
activities, which the primary punishment for breaking a kapu was death.
The pu'uhonua were sanctuaries that provided people a second chance. If
someone who broke a kapu could reach a pu'uhonua they
would be safe as no blood could be shed within the confines of a pu'uhonua.
O Honaunau (which means place of refuge at Honaunau) is one of the few restored
places of its type and is a very beautiful spot.
is an artist rendering of the Pu'uhonua
O Honaunau (by a local artist Herb Kawainui Kane) that shows the area enclosed
by the great wall and the Royal Grounds just outside the great wall.
rendering is used on the park's brochure and I have placed it here without
permission. There were no copyright notices on the brochure, so I assume
it is ok.
rendering has numbers indicating points of interest that corresponds to the
information for the self guided tour of the park. We will take the tour in
Pu'uhonua O Honaunau
National Historic Park
Walking Tour In Photos
the visitors center on the way to the area of the park shown above is some audio
stations that will give you a bit of a history lesson as to how the islands were
populated by the early people and the wall you face gives a pictorial account.
first panel depicts the discovery of the islands and the audio goes into how the
Marquesas first colonized the islands in about 600 to 700 AD and subsequent
migrations about 500 years later from what is now called the Society Islands.
panels that depicted life in early Hawaii. Warriors, fishermen and priests
are all part of a class system that was unique to Hawaii.