We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

Pana O`ahu

Sacred Stones, Sacred Land

Jan Becket & Joseph Singer

Publication Year: 2000

Few regions of the United States can equal the high concentration of endangered ancient cultural sites found in Hawaii. Built by the indigenous people of the Islands, the sites range in age from two thousand to two hundred years old and in size and extent from large temple complexes serving the highest order of chiefs to modest family shrines. Today, many of these structures are threatened by their proximity to urban development. Sites are frequently vandalized or, worse, bulldozed to make way for hotels, golf courses, marinas, and other projects. The sixty heiau photographed and described in this volume are all located on Oahu, the island that has experienced by far the most development over the last two hundred years. These captivating images provide a compelling argument for the preservation of Hawaiian sacred places. The modest sites of the maka‘ainana (commoners)—small fishing, agricultural, craft, and family shrines—are given particular attention because they are often difficult to recognize and prone to vandalism and neglect. Also included are the portraits of twenty-eight Hawaiians who shared their knowledge with archaeologist J. Gilbert McAllister during his survey of Oahu in the 1930s. Without their contribution, the names and histories of many of the heiau would have been lost. The introductory text provides important contextual information about the definition and function of heiau, the history of the abolition of traditional Hawaiian religion, preservation issues, and guidelines for visiting heiau.

Published by: University of Hawai'i Press

Title Page, Copyright

pdf iconDownload PDF (239.4 KB)


pdf iconDownload PDF (42.9 KB)
p. vii-vii

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (69.5 KB)
pp. viii-x

The purpose of this book is to record for future generations, as accurately and in as beautiful a light as possible, the remains of the ancient sacred sites on the island of O‘ahu. These structures were the works of the indigenous people...

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (93.7 KB)
pp. xi-xv

This documentary project took shape as the H-3 Freeway was making its way out of Ha‘ikü Valley, around Pu‘ukeahiakahoe, approaching Kukuiokäne Heiau in the Ko‘olaupoko...


pdf iconDownload PDF (79.1 KB)
pp. xvi-xviii

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (136.3 KB)
pp. xix-xxxi

Nearly two hundred years after the ending of the ‘ai kapu12 and with it the formal structure of Hawaiian religion, heiau remain an important part of Hawaiian culture.13 Despite current efforts of Hawaiians to record, preserve, and use these...

Map of O‘ahu

pdf iconDownload PDF (90.4 KB)
pp. xxxii-xxxiv

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (2.6 MB)
pp. 1-32

Only six ahupua‘a (land divisions) formed the pre-Mähele Kona District: Moanalua, Kahauiki, Kalihi, Kapälama, Honolulu, and Waikïkï. The largest ahupua‘a, Waikïkï, stretched approximately from Makiki to Maunalua...

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (2.3 MB)
pp. 33-58

The largest district, ‘Ewa, also encompasses the widest coastal plain on O‘ahu. Much of its coastal area is an emerged seabed formed of coral in the Pleistocene era, when sea levels...

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (2.3 MB)
pp. 59-84

The Wai‘anae District in pre-Mähele days extended south from the leeward slopes of the Wai‘anae Range toward the ‘Ewa District, and west toward the leeward coast. It included a long...

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (2.0 MB)
pp. 85-108

he district of Waialua was large, encompassing about seventy-eight square miles, including fourteen ahupua‘a. According to legend, Waialua— which might mean “doubly disgraceful”—arose...

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (2.0 MB)
pp. 109-126

The northern Ko‘olauloa District, backed by low mountains, has a relatively dry climate. However, in ancient times it supported spring-fed lo‘i kalo (taro terraces) in certain areas, such as the place...

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (3.3 MB)
pp. 127-164

Ko‘olaupoko and Ko‘olauloa Districts are often described as a unified land area owing to their similar topography of high-peaked mountains, deep valleys, wide and fertile coastal plains, and...


pdf iconDownload PDF (93.3 KB)
pp. 165-170

Glossary of Proper Names

pdf iconDownload PDF (88.0 KB)
pp. 171-173

Glossary of Hawaiian Terms

pdf iconDownload PDF (112.3 KB)
pp. 174-178


pdf iconDownload PDF (111.9 KB)
pp. 179-181


pdf iconDownload PDF (70.5 KB)
pp. 182-185


pdf iconDownload PDF (63.2 KB)
p. 186-186

E-ISBN-13: 9780824863845
Print-ISBN-13: 9780824823054

Publication Year: 2000

Research Areas


UPCC logo

Subject Headings

  • Hiking -- Hawaii -- Oahu -- Guidebooks.
  • Oahu (Hawaii) -- Guidebooks.
  • You have access to this content
  • Free sample
  • Open Access
  • Restricted Access