Located on the west coast of the island of Hawaiʻi, Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park preserves the site where, up until the early 19th century, Hawaiians who violated the kapu (sacred laws) could avoid certain death by fleeing to this place of refuge or puʻuhonua. The offender would be absolved by a priest and freed to leave. Defeated warriors and non-combatants could also find refuge here during times of battle. The complex of archeological sites includes also temple platforms, royal fishponds, sledding tracks, and some coastal village sites. For several centuries, the pu'uhonua, the Royal Grounds and adjacent areas formed one of the primary religious and political centers within the traditional district of Kona.
The park contains a reconstruction of the Hale O Keawe heiau, which was originally built by a Kona chief named Kanuha in honor of his father King Keaweʻīkekahialiʻiokamoku. After the death of the king, his bones were entombed within the heiau. The nobility (ali'i) continued to be buried until the abolition of the kapu system. The last person buried here was a son of Kamehameha I in 1818. It was looted by Lord George Byron (cousin of the English poet) in 1825. In 1829, High Chiefess Kapiʻolani removed the remaining bones and hid them in the Pali Kapu O Keōua cliffs above nearby Kealakekua Bay. She then ordered this last temple to be destroyed. The bones were moved in 1858 to the Royal Mausoleum of Hawaii.
About the stamps
The first stamp is part of the definitives series American Design (2002-2007), about which I wrote here. The second is the first of three stamps of a civil rights series, about which I wrote here.
The third stamp was issued on February 6, 1984. Design of this stamp recognized the 50th anniversary of cooperative federal, state, and local efforts to abate soil erosion and preserve water resources. Overgrazing and firewood gathering deprive vast areas of arid lands, resulting in the spread of desert and desert-like conditions.
The fourth stamp is part of the Black Heritage Series, about which I wrote here. The last stamp is part of a series of five, issued on January 6, 1994 to commemorate the 17th Winter Olympic Games, about which I wrote here.
Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park - Wikipedia
Sent from Greenvale (New York / United States), on 03.03.2013
Photo: Ann Cecil