This Ka Palapala award-winning guidebook increased the general public’s awareness of O‘ahu’s ancient sites for the first time in the early 1990s. Now an entirely updated, full-color edition of the book includes numerous additional sites and expanded site descriptions.
Although many remnants of ancient sites are accessible, often they are hidden and few sources provide such comprehensive interpretive information. In this informative and easy-to-follow book author Van James highlights the features, legends, and archaeology of fifty O‘ahu sites. Each site description includes a photograph, directions, and a map for easy location. While the book is organized for touring the island’s sites region by region, cross-referenced lists make it easy to develop alternatives according to personal interest.
An introduction by the late Hawaiian authority Edward L.H. Kanahele gives the reader an understanding of the intimate connection Hawaiians feel to the land and its features. He describes the concept of wahi pana, sacred places of Hawai‘i that are imbued with spiritual significance. Further context for the site descriptions is given in chapters describing aspects of Hawaiian culture and five main types of sites: heiau (temples), po¯haku (sacred stones), petroglyphs, caves and rock shelters, and fishponds. Tips on selected sites and cultural collections are also included. Sections on site preservation, Hawaiian pronunciation, and a glossary of Hawaiian terms round out the volume. A must for visitors and kama‘a¯ina alike, this book provides an introduction to cultural treasures little known or understood.