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Puuhonua Honaunau National Historic Park, Hawaii

Puuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park is a United States National Historical Park located on the west coast of the island of Hawaii in the U.S. state of Hawaii. The historical park preserves the site where, up until the early 19th century, Hawaiians who broke a kapu or one of the ancient laws against the gods could avoid certain death by fleeing to this place of refuge or "puuhonua". 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 grounds just outside the Great Wall that encloses the puuhonua were home to several generations of powerful chiefs.

The 420 acre (1.7 km²) site was originally established in 1955 as City of Refuge National Historical Park and was renamed on November 10, 1978. It includes the puuhonua and a complex of archeological sites including: temple platforms, royal fishponds, sledding tracks, and some coastal village sites. The Hale o Keawe temple and several thatched structures have been reconstructed.

The park contains a reconstruction of the Hale O Keawe heiau, which was originally built by a Kona chief named Kanuha. It was stripped and dismantled by Lord George Byron (cousin of the distinguished English poet) in 1825. It once housed the bones of important chiefs, possibly including Captain Cook.

After the death of Keawe, a great chief of Kona in the mid 16th century, his bones were entombed within the Heiau. The ali'i of Kona continued to be buried here for 250 years. The last person was buried here in 1818, a son of Kamehameha.

It was believed that additional protection to the place of refuge was received from the mana in the bones of the dead chiefs.

SPANISH: Este lugar es una recreación de como vivian los nativos hace tiempo, de las casas en las que vivian, las canoas con las que pescaban y las estatuas que construian para sus alabanzas. Al lado de este mismo lugar esta uno de los mejores sitios para hacer esnorquel de la isla, donde puedes nadar con tortugas y un sin fin de peces de distintas clases. Incluso para el que no se atreva a nadar, meterse en el agua o lo que fuera, puede llegar a ver las tortugas y algunos de los peces desde la misma orilla. Con un poco de suerte tambien puede divisar ballenas y delfines. Este lugar realmente merece la pena.

March 2008

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