Ancient Hawaiian villagers used to be very religious people with many gods and goddesses. They frequently abided in religious laws, traditions and practices when doing virtually almost anything like planting and harvesting crops, going to war and delivering babies. Kauai heiaus or temples can be found in several areas of the island along with other old sacred relics and symbols. These remain as cultural attractions that continue to draw thousands of tourists all over the world.
Ancient Legends and Religious Stories
Kaula Laka Heiau is a sacred altar located among the Napali cliffs. It was originally built for Laka, the goddess of hula and is one of the most captivating spots with a majestic view of the cliffs and Pacific Ocean. Up to this day, the heiau is still used by hula halau. Kiki a Ola or Menehune Ditch is located 25 miles north of the Waimea River. According to ancient legends, the ditch was built in a single night by legendary little people or menehune to irrigate taro patches. At present, a 2-foot high portion of one of the walls still exists.
Halekuamano at Mana is a Kauai heiau located at Kalaipuaa. According to ancient folklore, the temple was built by the gods in a single night for a special tribal chief. Things and other accessories related to the hula used to be thrown in the area. Hauola Heiau is located at Hoea Valley, Waimea at the base of Hauola ridge. The temple has 2 divisions with remnants of two houses that used to stand on each side of the entrance. 4 to 8-foot high walls outline the temple. Upstream from Hauola, a natural amphitheater can be seen where worshippers used to hold meetings and other special events.
Prince Kuhio Park is the birthplace and home of the “People’s Prince” or Prince Jonah Kalanianaole who was highly revered and loved by the Hawaiian people. Today, his house’s foundation, shrine and royal fishpond still exist. These used to be sites where priests or kahunas and villagers offered gifts, meditated and lived around in.