All About Hawaii
By Clarice B. Taylor
KOIHALA ORDERS POHAKU HANAU PAVING
The construction of Koihala’s heiau (temple) on top of the hill at Makanau in the Kau district progressed very well at first.
Food supplies were sufficient to sustain the men at the first heavy labor of quarrying the great rocks needed to build the heiau walls and to haul them to the site.
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It was a tremendous undertaking, for Koihala wished his heiau to be the biggest and best in the Kau district.
Once the great walls were in place, Koihala issued an order which brought the first grumblings.
It was customary for the Hawaiians to pave the inner temple areas of heiaus with small smooth pebbles either obtained from the beach or from stream beds.
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Instead of gathering pebbles from the beaches near Keauhou, Koihala ordered his men to travel 20 miles to the beach at Ninole near Punaluu to gather the famed Pohaku Hanau.
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These blue-black pebbles were called pohaku hanau, (child producing stones) for the reason that Hawaiians believed the stones to be male and female.
By tying a male and female stone together in a piece of tapa and laying the stones on an altar, they were said to reproduce.
The trick in this was to be certain you had male and female stones.
The stones were particularly favored by hula dancers, wrestlers and boxers who carried them about their person as talismen.
To pave the inner temple of the Makanau heiau meant that the Hawaiians had to gather great quantities of the pebbles at Ninole and make many trips over the 20 mile trail to and from the heiau site.
NEXT: The People Grumble.
(Star-Bulletin, 3/22/1949, p. 32)