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

    Pu`uhonua O Hōnaunau

    National Historical Park Hawai'i

Plan Your Visit

Pu'uhonua o Honaunau is peaceful and serene place. There are many enjoyable activities that can be done in the park. Click on the above links to plan a safe and memorable visit to this National Historical Park.

 

Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park is located on the South Kona coast on the island of Hawaii. It contains about 420 acres of federal lands, including the coastal areas of two ahupua'a (land divisions), Honaunau and Keokea and the upland areas of the Ki'ilae ahupua'a.

The Hawaiian concept of a sanctuary, Pu'uhonua, offering people a second chance at life is the primary story at this park. In the centuries before 1819, Hawaiian people caught in extraordinary circumstances, such as being on the losing side in war or breaking kapu (sacred law) could escape the death sentence if they could physically get to the pu'uhonua and receive absolution from the kahuna pule (priest).

In addition to being the site of the pu'uhonua, the ahupua'a of Honaunau was the original seat of the chiefdom of Kona and the ancestral home of the Kamehameha dynasty.

Free daily ranger talks are scheduled at 10:30 AM and 2:30 PM in the park's amphitheater to provide the visitors an introduction to the park as well as the concept of kapu, ancient religious laws of Hawaii. Please join in and listen to the park rangers as they paint a picture of the fascinating way of life in ancient Hawaii.

Did You Know?

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Did you know that the area east of the Keone'ele Cove known as Kauwalomālie was the location of a historic and fateful meeting, in 1782, between Kamehameha and his cousin Kīwala‘ō? At the time, Kīwala'ō was the ruling heir to the kingdom following the death of his father Kalani'ōpu‘u. According to traditional accounts, it was during an awa ceremony when Kīwala'ō passed the awa prepared by Kamehameha to one of his favorite chiefs, instead of honoring Kamehameha with the first drink. This event set the stage for the power struggle that ensued between them.