Nobody Is Allowed To Set Foot Inside This Revered Temple In Hawaii
The Ahu’ena Heiau in Kailue-Kona is a truly fascinating historical site in Hawaii. A heiau, pronounced, hay-au, in its simplest form means a temple or a place of worship. But the significance and tradition behind heiau go much deeper than a simple physical structure. Ancient Hawaiian heiaus were built for many reasons, including the treatment of the sick, offering the first fruits, starting and stopping rain, increasing the population, achieving success in distant voyaging, ensuring a nation’s health, or reaching peace. You’ll find the remnants of these temples across the Hawaiian Islands, and while all are sacred, there is one heiau, in particular, that is so revered no one is allowed to step foot inside or on the grounds surrounding it.
Have you ever seen Ahu’ena Heiau from afar? If you’re looking for another Hawaiian heiau you’ll never be able to visit, this underwater heiau in Hawaii is truly fascinating.
More to Explore
More Ancient Hawaiian Heiau
What does heiau mean in Hawaiian?
The Hawaiian word heiau means a place of worship or Hawaiian temple. It is a sacred place where divine energy, or mana, is gathered and transferred through prayer and ritual. It could be a physical structure or simply a special location in nature, such as a beach or hillside. Often heiau made use of stone markers or platforms in square, rectangle, or rounded formations.
Is there heiau in Oahu?
Yes, there are several Oahu heiau. The Pu'u o Mahuka Heiau is located in Oahu. This two-acre heiau is the largest on the island and sits atop a high bluff 300 feet above the sea overlooking Waimea Bay. Another is the Hale o Lono Heiau, which was built between 1470 A.D. and 1700 A.D. It was dedicated to worshiping Lono, the god of agriculture.
Here is a few more ancient heiau on Oahu:
- Kane'aki Heiau
- Pahua Heiau
- Ulupo Heiau
What happened at Puukohola Heiau?
Located on Kauaʻi, the Puukohola Heiau was built around 1790 by Kamehameha the Great, who played a prominent role in unifying the warring Hawaiian islands. It is said Kamehameha received a prophecy from his priest Kapoukahi to build the Puukohola Heiau in tribute to his war god Kuka'ilimoku. It is also said that Kamehameha's brother Keali'imaika'i, was instructed not to assist in the construction or he would be defiled in the eyes of the war god. Keali'imaika'i disobeyed and assisted the workers with the stone construction. When his older brother found out he collected all of the stones Keali'imaika'i worked with, placed them in a canoe, and sailed them over the horizon to dump them in the sea to appease the war god.