Heiau, ‘Āina, Lani: New Insights into Ancient Hawaiian Temples

May 20, 2019 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Lyman Museum
276 Haili St. Hilo
HI 96720
Aerial view of Lo‘alo‘a heiau, associated with Maui king Kekaulike.  Photo credit:  David Waynar.

Aerial view of Lo‘alo‘a heiau, associated with Maui king Kekaulike. Photo credit: David Waynar.

Evening Presentation:

For more than two decades Dr. Patrick Kirch has explored the archaeological landscapes of Kahikinui and Kaupō in southeast Maui, seeking to reconstruct the lifeways of the kua‘āina kahiko who inhabited these vast dryland regions.  Among his discoveries are some 78 heiau or temple sites, ranging from small coastal fishing shrines, through agricultural fertility temples, to the imposing war temples of Lo‘alo‘a and Pōpō‘iwi, where Maui king Kekaulike offered up human sacrifices.  Building on his detailed mapping and study of these temple foundations, Kirch collaborated with archaeo-astronomer Clive Ruggles in an effort to understand how heiau served not only as places of sacrifice and prayer, but also as locations where kāhuna observed the heavens.  Observing the rising of the Pleiades (Makali‘i) and probably also the solstices allowed the kāhuna to calibrate the Hawaiian lunar calendar, keeping it in sync with the solar year. 

Twice in May, Kirch will share these insights into the function of heiau in ancient Hawaiian culture and society:  Monday evening, May 20, and the following afternoon, May 21. 

Admission to these wonderful programs is free to Museum members, and $3.00 for nonmembers.  Please support the Museum by becoming a member, and enjoy all Saigo Series programs, all year round, at no charge!  Seating is limited; first come, first seated.  ON MONDAY EVENINGS ONLY, additional parking is available next door at Hilo Union School, Kapiolani St. entrance; park, then walk through our green gate in the rock wall

On Monday evenings, doors open at 6:30PM.  E komo mai!