Thursday, November 11, 2010


In October 2010, we vacationed in Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii, and took the occasion to visit some rock art sites on the island, and also found the Waikiki Beach Wizard Stones.

Waikiki beach "Wizard Stones", view looking west,
Oahu, Hawaii. Photo: Peter Faris, 10/27/10.
“These ancient stones, according to tradition, were once empowered with the mana (spiritual power) of four great kahuna (wizards) who arrived from Kahiki (the traditional homeland; some say Tahiti or the Society Islands) before the reign of the 16th century ruler of Oahu, chief Kakuhihewa. These kahuna, who became widely known throughout the islands as healers, instructed the people that four large stones should be moved from nearby Kaimuki and placed on the beach at Waikiki.” (James 2010:27) Kaimuki is a small crater on the North side of nearby Diamond Head.

The particular stones chosen supposedly consist of “bell stone” a special basaltic rock from Kaimuki quarry, that produces a bell-like ringing tone when struck. Although they were originally in separate locations, over the years they have been consolidated and in 1980 were moved into their present location in Kuhio beach park, which originally held only one of the four.

Waikiki beach "Wizard Stones", view looking northeast,
Oahu, Hawaii. Photo: Peter Faris, 10/27/10.

While they display no actual imagery or show no signs of carving, I include them because of the special spiritual significance that are afforded these stones by native Hawaiian peoples. In the late 1800s, Princess Likelike, sister of King Kalakaua, placed a lei on each stone as an offering and prayed before going into the water. (James 2010:27-28) Today offerings are often found placed upon the stones as well (note leis hanging from the fence in photo no. 2), a phenomenon we recognize in North American at many rock art sites as well as other sites of spiritual significance.

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