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January 23, 2010 / Greg Vaughn

Pu’uhonua o Honaunau

Ki'i at sunset Pu'uhonua o Honaunau

Ki'i and Hale Keawe Heiau, Pu'uhonua o Honaunau

Living in Hawaii for many years, I was fortunate to travel and photograph extensively around the islands. One of my absolute favorite places is Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park in the South Kona district of the Big Island. A place of refuge in ancient times, the restorations and recreations of temples, ki’i (carved wooden images) and royal fishpond make this one of the best places in the islands to get a feel for the culture of Hawaii in pre-Captain Cook times. Visit at sunrise and you’re likely to be the only one there, and sitting quietly, imagining what it was like here in the time of Kamehameha, you can feel the mana, the spirit and power, of the place.

For photographers, Pu’uhonua o Honaunau offers an abundance of opportunities. Mid-day the tropical light is usually very harsh and contrasty, but early morning just as the sun rises above Mauna Loa is very nice and the park can be a great place for sunsets. More of my photographs of Pu’uhonua o Honaunau can be seen at by clicking on this link to my PhotoShelter gallery.


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