Honopū Valley

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Honopū Valley

Honopū Valley is a landmark valley within Nā Pali Coast State Park along the northwest shore of Kauaʻi, Hawaiʻi. It is known for its distinctive natural arch, which at approximately 90 feet (27 m) tall is the tallest in Hawaii. At the lower end of the valley is Honopū's secluded, 0.25-mile (0.40 km) beach, also known as Cathedral Beach.

Honopū means "conch shell", and the valley's name is derived from the conch shell-like sound its arch makes when hit by winds from the north.[1]

History[edit]

Honopū Valley and Beach sit along the northwest shore of the Hawaiian island of Kauaʻi, on the Na Pali coast.[2] Honopū Valley is isolated and not easily accessible except by water. No landing of any aircraft or boat is allowed in Honopū Valley or on its beach, so visitors must swim from an offshore boat or from neighboring Kalalau Beach.

The valley, because of the mystery surrounding the exodus of the people who lived there until the mid-19th century, is sometimes called "The Valley of the Lost Tribe." In 1922, visiting archaeologists found several skulls thought to be primitive, pre-Hawaiian people. Later studies of the valley and its artifacts determined all of its residents were clearly Hawaiian, but the erroneous legend endures[1].

As the valley is so hidden and isolated, it is believed to be spiritual: it is a place of temples and burial grounds, and the source of many Hawaiian legends and myths. The burial site for the local chiefs was located on the surrounding cliffs. It was believed that once a chief died, his bones held a supernatural power, and if found by others they could be used against the chief's tribe. When chiefs died, their bones were collected and taken to the cliffs, and the warrior who transported the bones had to die in order to ensure the secrecy of the location of the bones.[3]

The land on Honopū Valley is highly fertile; a castaway could survive there simply on the large amount of wild fruit, such as guavas and grapefruit, that grows along its coast.

A view of the Nā Pali Coast from the ocean.

Menehune[edit]

The only available information about the ancient mythological menehune people of Polynesia comes from the stories told by natives. Native Hawaiians refer to the menehune as being the “kamaʻaina”, or “children of the land”.[4] While they may simply be mythical, the menehune are said[by whom?] to have lived throughout the Hawaiian Islands, including Kauai, which they inhabited in large numbers. The Honopu Valley is also known as "the valley of the lost tribe" because it was the home of the last menehune.

Travel[edit]

A visit to Honopū Ridge requires a few miles' walk. The view along the way includes that of the ocean and the beach of Honopu. Some of the things one may also encounter are thick ferns through which one must crawl through to stay on the right track. Some tracks may lead to other locations so it is best if to be accompanied by someone who is more familiar with the route.

The means of transportation to see the valley are tour boats that travel along the coast and helicopters which afford aerial views of the valley.[5] The wildlife visible in the area include sea turtles and a population of humpback whales that frequent the waters around Kauai in winter.[6]

Honopū Valley in film[edit]

Aircraft and boats that are part of Hollywood film productions are the only ones allowed in Honopū Valley. Honopū Valley is perhaps most famous for its appearances in the 1976 remake of King Kong and in the 1998 movie Six Days Seven Nights.

In the 1976 remake of King Kong the beaches and jungles of Kauai, Hawaii were made to stand in for South Pacific. Originally only the jungle scenes were to be shot in Hawaii and the rest on Zuma Beach, California.[7] Producer Dino De Laurentiis, however, was so pleased with Hawaii that he decided to film all the beach scenes at Honopū and Kalalau Valley. The producers and production crew of King Kong were told that Honopū Valley was uninhabited, but on the day that they arrived to start filming, they were shocked to find honeymooners on the beach.[8] Scenes that involved filming in the ocean were hard to film due to the 12-foot-high waves. Most of the crew got seasick and one filming boat almost capsized.[7] Examples of involved scenes are when the party arrive on Skull Island and the nighttime arrival to rescue Dwan; other scenes are the arrival of equipment to capture King Kong and Fred Wilson directing the rescue mission.

For the film Six Days Seven Nights[9] Hawaii was made to stand in for French Polynesia. Among the scenes filmed on Honopū Beach is the one where Harrison Ford runs from pirates. The arch is also included in the film.[10]

Other Hollywood movies with filmed in Honopū Valley are Honeymoon in Vegas, Acapulco Gold, and Raiders of the Lost Ark.[citation needed] More recently the beach and surrounding scenery were used as location for the fourth in the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' series of movies, 'On Stranger Tides' (2011) [2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Valley of the Lost Tribe.” Index Stock Imagery, Inc. September 23, 2005. February 05,2008<http://www.indexstockimagery.com/archives/2005/09/stock_stories_b_2.html>
  2. ^ Honopu.” Beach-Kaua’i.” Kauai Explored. 2008 http://www.kauaiexplored.com/beaches/Honopu-Beach.aspx
  3. ^ Honopū Valley.” Kauai-Hawaii. 2008. 05 February 2008<http://www.kauai-Hawaii.com/destinations.php?1>.
  4. ^ Katharine Luomala. “The Menehune of Polynesia and Other Mythical Little People of Oceania.” Bernice P. Bishop Museum Bulletin 203. Honolulu, Hawaii, 1951. 3-6, 10, & 19.
  5. ^ "Cruise The Na pali Coast, Tours and Attraction." Things To Do, Inc. 2008. 1 March 2008<http://www.101thingstodo.com/hawaii/kauai/tours/cruisesnorkelnapalicoast/index.php#moretoppicks>.
  6. ^ Thomas, Daniel. "The Whales Of Kauai." 7 October 2006. 1 March 2008<http://www.articlestree.com/travel/the-whales-of-kauai-tx254316.html>.
  7. ^ a b Morton, Ray. King Kong: The history of a movies icon from Fay Wray to Peter Jackson. New York: Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, 2005.186-187.
  8. ^ Morton, Ray. King Kong: The history of a movies icon from Fay Wray to Peter Jackson. New York: Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, 2005.186-187.
  9. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120828/
  10. ^ Honopu Valley.” Kauai-Hawaii. 2008. 05 February 2008<http://www.kauai-Hawaii.com/destinations.php?1>.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 22°10′03″N 159°40′16″W / 22.16750°N 159.67111°W / 22.16750; -159.67111