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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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Seasons of the Gods

Seasons of the Gods

Chapter:
(p.192) 14 Seasons of the Gods
Source:
Kua'aina Kahiko
Author(s):

Patrick Vinton Kirch

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824839550.003.0014

This chapter describes the author’s examination of the positions and locations of heiau in Kahikinui. He observed that temple sites fell into three clusters. Most common were heiau that faced east; many of these had spectacular viewsheds toward distant Kaupō. A second cluster faced northeast, between about 64 and 73 degrees on the compass. The third cluster faced north; in Kahikinui this is toward the summit ridgeline of Haleakalā. He theorized that each orientation cluster was associated with a particular deity. Temples with east orientations were associated with Kāne, who was strongly linked with the sun and the east. Two astronomical phenomena may have determined the orientation of the temples that faced the northeast: the acronical rising of the star cluster Pleiades just after sunset, which was crucial to the onset of the Makahiki season and the New Year, or the summer solstice, or both. North-facing temples were constructed so that their principal axes faced the mountain. As such these temples are believed to be dedicated to, or associated with, Kū, the deity linked to the high mountains, to the sky, and to forests.

Keywords:   Hawaiian gods, religion, temples, heiau, Hawaii, Kahikinui

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