Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024 |
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Except for historians and scholars, it’s difficult for most people on Kaua’i to picture in their minds the places where Hawaiians generations ago prayed and gave offerings to gods of war, peace and bounty. The imagery is easier to focus when heiaus – the ancient sites of the religious and cultural ceremonies – can be viewed by the public.
Thus, the significance of the restoration of the Malae heiau. In the past 10 months, about 400 volunteers have cleared away jungle to reveal the rock walls within which the site once flourished as a network of seven heiaus stretching from the coastal area of Wailua to the mountains.
Without the volunteers’ efforts, many Kauaians and visitors to the island might never have seen a place where Hawaiian royalty once walked, or the monument that was erected 72 years ago by the Territory of Hawai’i to designate the historic importance of the site.
Plans call for the state to eventually clear and turn another seven acres around the heiau into a cultural park, and for the site to host lectures and interpretive signs. Ultimately, the site can become a place where Hawaiian history and modern society can come together in perfect harmony.
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