was routinely practiced here, taking the mana (spiritual strength) from
the victim to insure victory in war. The captives, usually chiefs
captured in battle, would be hung upside down on wooden racks, where the
their sweat would be collected to anoint the Kahuna (priests). Next the
victims would have their bones and flesh pounded to soften the meat. The
victims would then be disembowled and either cooked or eaten raw by the
Kahuna and the Ali'i (Chiefs) seeking the mana from the captives.
According to legend, at Mo'okini, the last human sacrifices were made in
the late 1870's.
Heiau at Kawaihae, Kohala District on the Big Island of Hawai'i
overlooking the sea, built by The Great MoiKamehameha I in 1791, is an
example of the platform type.
completion of the Heiau, Kamehameha invited his rival, Chief Keoua, from
the south end of the island at Ka'u, to "celebrate" the new temple to
their mutual guardian God of War, Ku. Keoua traveled by canoe from Ka'u
to Kona where he bade farewell to his Ohana (family) there. He had a
sense of pending doom. Keoua then paddled with some of his men to
Kawaihae. As he stepped ashore, he was run through with a spear. Keoua's
body was taken up to the great Heiau, sacrificed and eaten by Kamehameha
and his chiefs.
Heiau is located on the north ridge of Waimea Bay on the north shore
of the Island of O'ahu, at Pupukea-ahupua'a. This massive structure,
built on the ridge top overlooking Waimea Bay, is the largest Heiau on
Vancouver lost three of his seamen to the human sacrificial at
Puu-o-Mahuka Heiau in about 1795.
Hawaiian Historian, S.M. Kamakau at Ka Moolelo o Na Kemehameha, Kuokoa,
Nov. 16, 1867 stated: "The lands to the Kahunas (priests) were Waimea,
Pupukea, Waiahole and Hakipu'u. These lands belong to the priests from
ancient times down to that of Kahahana. In the time of Kahekili and
Kalanikupule, these were given to their Kahunas and so also in the reign
of Kamehameha I Pupukea belonged to the priests of Kua'ali'i (Kuali'i)".
(see Sterling, 1978, Sites of O'ahu)
archeological study has been done on this Heiau. It was dedicated to the
war God Ku. The site is aligned with the winter solstice and was used in
conjunction with Ku temple worship on the Island of Kaua'i, 75 miles to
the north west. The entire structure encloses an area of more than
120,000 square feet of rock paved flooring. Native Hawaiian
practitioners continue to use this temple for religious purposes today.
Heiau, built around 1400 A.D., dedicated to the God of Agriculture,
Lono, is located in the lush Waimea Valley, on the north shore of the
Island of O'ahu, less than 1/8 of a mile from Puu-o-Mahuka Heiau.
not designed for human sacrifice on a regular basis, however, at the
beginning of the Makahiki, human offerings were made where a fish and a
human were offered, the Kahuna plucking out the eyeball of both victims;
then eating the eyeball's raw, would begin the celebrations and ensure
good harvest and fishing in the coming year.
Lehua Heiau, Mokapu Peninsula, Kaneohe Marine Corps Air Base, Oahu:
In the vicinity of Paohua, (See site 367, Ko'a) about 75 feet from the
beach, the stones Ku and Hina were formerly located. They are said to
have been removed some years ago by George Moa and thrown into the
water. Shortly after this act, according to the Hawaiians, Moa became
insane and died. Both Ku and Hina, Iying on the beach though covered at
high tide, were pointed out by Kalani after some search. Pohaku hauau a
Kuau (disappearing stone of Kuau) is a rock which can only occasionally
be seen, just off Kuau (Pyramid Rock).
two small elevations southwest of Kuau are known as Keawanui and
Keawaiki respectively......McAllister Arch. of Oahu
confirms story re George Moa. Ku and Hina were visible in McAllister's
time, but since then the Navy dredging activities have changed
conformation of area and Ku and Hina are no longer visible, being in
deep water. (According to Kamakapele they still "live" because this is
so. ) Barrere, D. March 1, 1952
1) platform 33.5
feet by 17.5 feet, less than 1 foot high, edged with 1-food stones and
sand-paved, many raugh lava stones scattered an north end;
2) platform, 17
feet by 3.3 feet, 1.3 feet high, edged with large stones, paved with
dark-colored Stone, known as Kanaloa protruding about 1 foot above
light-colored stone, known as Kane, not so large as Kanaloa;
5) platfonn 8
feet square and 1 foot high on southwest corner of platform
1....McAllister Arch. of Oahu
cannibalism: The bountiful lands and water of the Hawaiian islands
Native Hawaiians in the late 1700's. So plentiful was the harvest that
every year, a
celebration of games and feasting from November to February took place.
No work or war
was allowed. Usually, human sacrifice was made to the war God Ku. The
enemy ali'i (chiefs) taken prisoner in battle. By eating the flesh of
person, the mana
(strength, power and spirit) of that person was transferred to the
victor by the
described by Cooke: "seeing a man with a small parcel fastened with a
string to his fish-hook, Cooke asked what it was and was told it was
human flesh.....Cooke was asked by a native if the white men ate the
people they killed...and was told that if the sailors were killed on
shore, they would be eaten....in offering human sacrifice it was the
custom for the officiating priest to pluck out the left eye of the
victim and make pretense of eating it....evidently the relic of some
old cannibalistic rite...."
In 1779, when
Cooke was killed, his heart was eaten by three children who happened to
be on the beach at the
time. By 1843, in his "History of the Sandwich Islands" the Rev. S.
Dibble writes: "the practice was not common, and it is due to the
Hawaiians to say that those few instances that did exist were looked
upon by most of the people with horror and detestation". Dibble saw life
through the white man's eyes and did not take the time to understand the
meaning of the act.
place in the Heiau where women of high rank could congregate.
oven underground used for human sacrifices
kuhikuhipu'uone: priests who specialized in Heiau design and
priest...a class unto itself...second only to the Ali'i yet powerful
enough to influence politics and the general everyday activities of the
Chiefs through prophecy. A priest would use the powers of:
praying to death
ho'o-unauna: sending evil spirits on errand of death
ho'o-komokomo: causing sickness
oneone-i-honua: special prayers
puuone: heiau location and construction
prohibitions, law, keep out, forbid, stop what you are doing.violators
punished by death
supernatural power, spirt of those taken in the act of cannabilism
agents of the priests (kahuna) who brought the sacrificial offerings to
the temple (heiau)
upright stone, symbol of an alter or place of worship
temple or city of refuge
spirit of death
strangle or choke, a method of killing law breakers (kapu)