Pu'u o Mahuka Heiau State Monument
Puʻu o Mahuka Heiau
Main platform at Puʻu o Mahuka Heiau
|Nearest city||Haleiwa, Hawaii|
|Area||2 acres (8,100 m2)|
|NRHP Reference #||66000292|
|Added to NRHP||October 15, 1966|
|Designated NHL||December 29, 1962|
Puʻu o Mahuka Heiau State Historic Site on the North Shore of Oʻahu is the largest heiau on the island, covering 2 acres (8,100 m2) on a hilltop overlooking Waimea Bay and Waimea Valley. Puʻu o Mahuka means 'Hill of Escape'. Hawaiian legends have it that from this point, Pele (Volcano Goddess) leaped from Oahu to the next island, Molokai. From its commanding heights, sentries could once monitor much of the northern shoreline of Oʻahu, and even spot signal fires from the Wailua Complex of Heiaus on Kauaʻi, with which it had ties. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1962, when it became the center of a 4-acre (16,000 m2) State park. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1966.
The highest of the three walled enclosures may date to the 17th century, with the lower two enclosures perhaps added during the 18th century. These were times of great conflict, and the upper platform appears to have functioned as a heiau luakini (sacrificial temple) to bring success in war. During the 1770s, the overseer of this heiau was Ka'opulupulu, the high priest of the last independent high chief of Oʻahu, Kahāhana. In 1792, George Vancouver's ship, HMS Daedalus, anchored near Waimea Bay to collect water. Three men in his shore party were killed in a skirmish with Native Hawaiians, and may have been taken to the heiau as human sacrifices. After Kamehameha I conquered Oʻahu in 1795, his high priest Hewahewa led religious ceremonies here and the heiau remained in use until the traditional kapu system was abolished in 1819.
The site can be reached from Pupukea Homestead Road (Highway 835), which starts at Kamehameha Highway (Highway 83) across from Pupukea fire station.
Visitor altar with guardian rooster
- National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- "Puu O Mahuka Heiau". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-07-04.
- "Hawaii State Parks: Oahu: Pu'u o Mahuka Heiau State Historic Site". Retrieved 2010-01-09.