Hawai‘i is built on a firm physical foundation of volcanic rock and coral reefs. As time passes, erosion of land and formation of pōhaku have resulted. Each pōhaku, ‘ili‘ili, and ko‘a were once part of a larger mass. These pōhaku were used to create a foundation for hale (houses), kuapā (fishpond walls), and heiau (temples). Our kūpuna believed that there is mana (power, strength) in everything. Today we continue to use pōhaku as traditional tools to perpetuate our Hawaiian cultural practices.
basalt with olivine olivine
In the Hawaiian “Stone Age”
by Dr. Sam Gon III, Consultant to Moanalua Gardens Foundation
Illustrations by: Lu Wilson
kilo pōhaku dark polished stone mirrors which provide a fine reflection of one’s
pōhaku kōhi stone tools for splitting hot baked breadfruit, again part of a
ma‘i pōhaku phallic stones, such as the famous Kauleonanahoa on Moloka‘i, that women would sit upon to ensure pregnancy
The stones are wealth enough for us, the astounding sustenance of the land.
Moanalua Gardens Foundation 11/2002