Puuhonua O Honaunau

Place of Refuge

Imagine you had just broken one of the many strict laws that ruled the times of history Hawaii–called the Kapu, ‘forbidden’ rules. Unfortunately for you, the penalty in all cases of broken Kapu was death. Your only hope is to make it to a place of refuge alive.

Once inside the boundaries of the refuge, you are cleansed through rituals lasting around a day. Only then can you return to your community.

Pu’uhonua o Honaunau is one such Hawaiian ‘Place of Refuge’ located on the Honaunau coastline on the Big Island. This particular place of refuge is a national park.

It features a beautiful, long, and tall black lava rock wall, sacred fishing ponds, ki’i statues, refurbished structures, and an annual hukilau celebration.

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