This post continues details of our afternoon trip along the southern Kona Coast, which we enjoyed on our eighth day on the island of Hawaii (Monday, May 24th). Our first stop was at St. Benedict Roman Catholic Church in the little village of Honaunau. Our second (and last) stop was at Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park.
Pu’uhonua o Honaunau, or Place of Refuge at Honaunau as it is translated, preserves the site where Hawaiians who broke a kapu (one of the ancient laws) could avoid certain death by fleeing to this sanctuary. The offender would perform a ritual, be absolved by a priest and freed to leave. Defeated warriors and non-combatants could also find refuge here during times of battle.
This Heiau (temple) was originally built by a Kona chief named Kanuha. After the death of Keawe, a great chief of Kona in the mid 16th century, his bones were entombed within the temple. The ali’i (nobility) of Kona continued to be buried here for 250 years.
After walking the grounds of the Place of Refuge, we enjoyed a BBQ at the picnic area as well as the sight of a beautiful sunset.
Another gorgeous Hawaiian sunset!
I will close this post with a video that Bob prepared, which showcases some of the things that we saw and did while at the Place of Refuge. The video is a little long, 2 1/2 minutes. In the first minute Bob shows dolphins jumping in the ocean.
Stay tuned! The next several blog posts will provide details and photographs of a two-day tour of the island of Hawaii.