Hawaii's Heritage at Kaunolu Bay and Village

North America - Editor - 13 October 2008

Hawaii's Heritage at Kaunolu Bay and Village

When in Hawaii be sure to take a break from the dazzling beaches, vibrant atmosphere and fun water activities to explore the historical side of the island. The island is more than just a tropical holiday destination; it has many fascinating stories to tell and a wonderful heritage that formed its existence. The Kaunolu Village, near Lanai, is registered as a National Historic Landmark of Hawaii, and is therefore significant to its history. Visitors to the Kaunolu Village and Kaunolu Bay will find this site as beautiful as it is interesting.

Ancient Hawaiians used to inhabit Kaunolu Bay and established a small fishing village there. Kaunolu Village was ideally located, as it was on the coast with a freshwater stream that runs towards the ocean nearby, making it a good place for fishing then and now. Historians believe that the villagers established themselves in Kaunolu Bay some time during the fifteenth century and the last residents deserted the village near the year 1810.

The bay itself is magnificent, with many sea arches formed by the crashing waves pounding the lava structures until only a breathtaking arch of rock remains. A well marked hiking trail winds its way through the bay and to the village, taking hiking enthusiasts past the noteworthy sites and to Kehekili’s Leap where warriors would prove their courage by diving off the cliff into the treacherous waters below. Visitors taking on the adventure of the hiking trail are reminded not to walk on sea arches as they are unstable and that the water is not safe for swimming, as the bay is a network of extremely strong sea currents. When at Kaunolu Village, visitors are requested not to remove or move any stones, as it is an archeological site and all remaining pieces on the site are viewed as artifacts. The ruins of the village transport visitors back to ancient times as they will find garden walls, homes, foundations, burial sites and storerooms within the village.

Visitors are recommended to take enough refreshments to the site, as there are no facilities available. Kaunolu Bay and Kaunolu Village remain exactly as the last villagers had left it. It is a historical site that has become a monument to the Hawaiian forefathers and a sacred tourist attraction.

 



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