Holoholoku Heiau

Holoholoku Heiau, Kauai

It is believed that Holoholoku Heiau was used for human sacrifice in ancient Hawaii, mainly prisoners of war. Others who were killed here were those who had broken a kapu (who had done something that was forbidden, such as walking in the shadow of a chief). Holo-holo-ku means (run run stand fast) in the Hawaiian language. Curiously enough, the heiau is located right next to the Royal Birthstone (Pohaku Ho'ohanau), the sacred site of royal births on the island.

In later years the heiau was vandalized. The wife of Kaumuali'i, the last king of Kauai, then used it as an enclosure to raise pigs. She chose the heiau as a sign that the old religious Hawaiian traditions should be forsaken in favor of Christianity. Today, only the stone foundation remains of the original construction.

Holoholoku Heiau Overview

  • Sacrificial heiau in ancient Hawaii
  • Located in Wailua River State Park
  • Nearby stairs lead to a cemetery, which dates back to around 1890
  • Heiau is located next to the sacred Royal Birthstone

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Reviews and Comments:
Very interesting part of Hawaiian history! We stopped to see this and the Birth Stone - easy to imagine this place as it was thousands of years ago! We went up the nearby stairs not knowing what was up there and came upon an old Japanese cemetery. Amazing!If you like history, stop at this site!
Mary B., Fri Jun 14, 2013