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Kua'aina KahikoLife and Land in Ancient Kahikinui, Maui$
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Patrick Vinton Kirch

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780824839550

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824839550.001.0001

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Sites of Sacrifice and Power

(p.170) 13 Heiau
Kua'aina Kahiko

Patrick Vinton Kirch

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter focuses on the places that were of particular significance in the spiritual and ritual lives of nā kuaʻāina (backwoods folks)—those places and sites collectively called heiau. The term heiau applies to all such places where sacrifices were offered and prayers made to the gods and ʻaumakua (ancestors), ranging from the largest temples down to humble shrines contained within the menʻs houses of the makaʻāinana (common folk). The author describes the heiau he has visited and studied in Kahikinui. Always silently asking permission to enter before he stepped onto the stone terraces or pavements, he has measured and mapped, photographed and described, these fascinating places of prayer, sacrifice, and power. In some heiau his team conducted test excavations to obtain materials with which to date their construction, learning more about the activities once carried out within their walls.

Keywords:   sacred places, temples, shrines, Hawaii, Kahikinui, archaeological sites, sacrifices, prayers

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