The Big Island of Hawaii is home to hundreds of petroglyphs carved into lava rock throughout the island. There are a handful of areas with large concentrations of the carvings, found on the west and south sides.
No one has been able to determine the reason that the figures were carved; some think they have religious implications, some think they served some purpose, and others believe they are simply artistic, created solely for the joy of creating.
In some locations, like this one, the majority of the figures are oriented in the same direction, causing speculation about why. The figures range from people to animals to activities. They are remarkably similar throughout the islands.
A line of volcanic vortices spin away from the Big Island of Hawaii, created by powerful steam venting as lava enters the sea. read more
Water flows like a waterfall off a rock outcrop in West Oahu while a silhouetted figure poses in a warrior arch. read more
Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus share a kiss in Hawaii, dressed in their best aloha shirts and flower leis in this ornament. read more
This mural in downtown Kona is found on the pavilion at the Hale Halawai ocean front park. read more
From NOAA’s “Historic Fisheries Collection” we found a great hand drawing of a butterfly fish. The butterfly fish’s Hawaiian name, Kikakapu (Kīkākapu), includes the word “kapu,” meaning “forbidden.” read more
A beautiful Hawaiian stained glass window lets light in to Saint Michael the Archangel Church in Kailua-Kona on Hawaii’s Big Island. read more
Motion softens the scene as a surfer catches a wave in Hawaii. Called he’enalu in the Hawaiian language, surfing has its origins here and even a special Pule Kahiko, ancient Hawaiian prayer for surf. read more
Aloha shirts originated right here in Hawaii. If you are dressing up to head out, you grab your finest aloha shirt, your dress slippers, and you are ready to roll. It is thought that the aloha shirt as we know it today was originally created by Ellery Chun at King-Smith Clothiers and Dry Goods in Waikiki in the 1930’s. read more
Honolulu Surf Riders is another great Hawaiiana painting from Mr. Charles Bartlett. Put on canvas around 1918, his painting shows four surfers catching a wave in Honolulu, presumably in Waikiki. read more
A large, round “Love Your Mother” earth sign hangs proudly on the side of an old pool hall turned surf shop in Kona. The faded yet colorful sign faces oncoming traffic, displaying the message to all passersby. read more
A classic scene of Duke Kahanamoku surfing a longboard somewhere near Honolulu, probably on Waikiki, as painted by Charles Bartlett in 1918. read more