According to Van James, “this is the first ancient site on Oahu to have been officially recognized, preserved, and protected, thanks to the efforts of the Daughters of Hawaii in 1925.” “The site is believed to have been established by chief Nanakaoko and his wife Kahihiokalani. The efficacy of the stones was attributed to aumakua residing in them.” (2010: 113) “In Hawaiian mythology, an ʻaumakua is a family god, often a deified ancestor. The Hawaiian plural of ʻaumakua is nā ʻaumākua, although in English the plural is usually ʻaumakuas. Nā ʻaumākua frequently manifested as animals such as sharks or owls. Nā ʻaumākua were worshipped at localities (often rocks) where they were believed to "dwell".” (Wikipedia 2010)
Few of these stones have recognizable petroglyphs although many of them seem to be shaped in ways that suggest that they have been worked. Many of them bear hollows like basins that may have been used for sacrifices or divination rituals. Others have channels in the surface like drains, and one extreme stone has a large number of rounded vertical projections around the upper rim. Although to the casual viewer’s eye there are no tool marks on these they seem too extreme to not suspect purposeful working. This stone also has the most obvious petroglyph on its upper surface, four concentric circles. With a low sun, at certain times of the year, some of the projections cast shadows across the petroglyph which has prompted suggestions that this has calendrical significance.
Another stone that has obvious working is identified as a piko stone. A stone into which a number of small pits has been pecked. These were reportedly intended as repositories for the umbilical cords (piko) of children born at Kukaniloko, and Kukaniloko is identified as the piko (navel) of Oahu.
A number of lei offerings on the stones at the time of our visit testify to the continued relevance of this site to the beliefs of some people.
2010 Ancient Sites of O’ahu: Revised Edition, Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu.