• The Sacred Hale o Keawe Heiau Protects the Pu'uhonua

    Pu`uhonua O Hōnaunau

    National Historical Park Hawai'i

Ka‘ahumanu Stone

Ka'ahumanu Stone

Ka‘ahumanu Stone

NPS Photo

This large stone located in the Pu'uhonua measures roughly 11 ft long by 7 ft wide by 3 ft thick, and is partially propped up by smaller stones underneath. The stone's name is derived from a traditional account about Kamehameha and his wife Ka'ahumanu. This version of the story was related by Mr. Lazaro a man who lived in the area in the early 1900's.


Ka'ahumanu, the favorite queen of Kamehameha, left him one day after a quarrel. Accompanied by her pet white dog she travelled southward along the coastal trail to Lae Mamo, the north point of Hōnaunau Bay, where she took to the sea, swimming with her dog across the bay. Landing at Inanui, she hid behind one of the large rocks called Pohaku o Ka'e and rested a little; the dog meanwhile climbed up onto the rock. Kamehameha, in pursuit, had reached Lae Mamo, and not seeing Ka'ahumanu decided that the local natives had hidden her in their houses. He proceeded to smoke her out by setting fire to the grass houses, beginning with that at Kahapa'akai. When the arsonists had reached about half way along the north side of the bay, one of them saw the white dog on the rock and informed Kamehameha. The burning was stopped, and Kamehameha and his servants proceeded around the bay. Meanwhile, Ka'ahumanu left the shelter of her rook and walked around to the far side of 'Āle'ale'a Heiau, where she hid beneath the rock which now bears her name. The searchers spread out, and as one of them approached, the dog barked, revealing the place of Ka'ahumanu's concealment. Reconciliation fortunately followed.

Did You Know?

Ka'ahumanu stone

Did you know that according to legend, Queen Ka'ahumanu once swam a great distance to the pu'uhonua after a quarrel with her husband Kamehameha I? She hid under a large stone, but her barking dog gave away where she was hiding. After her husband found her, the two soon made up.