The Refuge and Painted Church
Kailua-Kona Travel Blog› entry 2 of 10 › view all entries
A tragic thing happened in the middle of the night. I was looking for the television control and I stepped on David's glasses. I popped out the lens. David was very decent about it.... but we needed to run to Costco to get it fixed and return a 4 gig SD card that would not work in our cameras... so our morning was shot with that....
When we got back to the timeshare we decided to take a ride and look at the countryside.... we drove towards Captain Cook town .... It was so beautiful driving through the tropics..... It was amazing to see poinsettia's as tall as trees! We started out late so we didn't expect to be able to visit very many places...
Pu'uhonua o Honaunau (Royal Grounds and place of Refuge) The area is quite large.
The well marked paths lead us to a duplicated temple and to the Royal grounds. The grounds had fresh water ponds with fish that were planted.... It was very beautiful by the ponds... very peaceful with birds calling and tropical trees and fruits. There was a large wall that was built in 1550 AD. It is volcanic lava perfectly fitted together with no cement ... there was a game of konane which is a traditional Hawaiian game arranged on a papamu: (a big flat rock with rows of holes with white and black rocks resting in them). Large hollowed out lava rocks were used to hold dye or used to pound 'awa root for ceremonies.
In the Hawaiian culture there were kapu’s that could not be broken. They included looking directly at the king, casting a shadow into the royal palace grounds, walking in the king’s footsteps, touching the kings possessions or getting too close to the king. A woman could not prepare food for or eat with a man. She could not eat food that were reserved for offerings to the gods. The killing of animals and gathering wood was strictly controlled. If a Kapu was broken the penalty was death. If the transgressor were not killed the gods could cause a tidal wave, earthquake, volcano eruption or cause famine.
The place of refuge was recreated with the ki’I guardian carvings. There was a large temple and mausoleum that houses the bones of the ancient king, Keawe’ikekahiali’i o kamoku the great grandfather of king Kamehameha I. It is a very sacred place that provided people with a second chance. No blood could be shed there. Warriors who were defeated could await the end of the conflict until after the battle. They aligned themselves with the victor when they left the sanctuary.
I got some great shots of the noni trees at the entrance to the site. Noni fruit are very strange looking... like white cactus minus the needles. When they are on the ground and decaying they smell like strong Limburger cheese. (take my word on this… very baad!) The noni fruit was one of the medicinal fruits: it supports the immune system and has natural antioxidants. Before the Europeans/whites came to Hawaii the Hawaiians did not have fevers, cold, diseases or venereal disease.
We also went to the “painted church” …. It was so charming. It had a lovely well tended graveyard with a wonderful garden. It is St. Benedict’s church. I took pictures of the inside but I feel they don’t really do justice to the warm, feeling of this little church…I believe in the 1920's a Belgium priest painted it: it helped tell Bible stories as many people did not read.
Then, Like it couldn’t get better, Ray spotted a statue up the hill. We walked up the path (next to the gravel road). On each side were crude wooden crosses with things written on them regarding Christ when he was carrying the cross….. And it ended at a wonderful statue of the Pieta (Michelangelo’s masterpiece) … we got some pictures of it. This stop was amazing and inspiring.