Hawaii Mom Blog: Kukaniloko Birth Site - A Stop on Our Circle Island Tour in 24 Custom Tour




June 17, 2016

Kukaniloko Birth Site - A Stop on Our Circle Island Tour in 24 Custom Tour

Although our family has driven past the Kukaniloko Birth Site in Wahiawa hundreds of times going to and from the North Shore, we never stopped to visit until we went on a Custom Tour with Circle Island Tour in 24.

Kukaniloko yields much historical significance, as it was once a sacred site reserved for the birth of royalty.

Listed on both State and National Registers of Historic Places, Kukaniloko's national nomination form states:
"Kukaniloko is one of only two famous places in the State for the birth of children of high ranking -chief tesses, and the only such place located on Oahu. Tradition holds that it was first established in about the 12th century A.D. and used continuously well into historic times. Birth at places such as Kukaniloko were held by the Hawaiians to add a special divine gift to the high rank held already by the children of chiefs." (You can read more here,)
As a kid, riding in the car, I'd get a glimpse of the tall eucalyptus and coconut trees that surrounded the stones.  I was aware of the importance of the area back then, but now, as an adult and as a mother, I was very eager to visit this special site - an area that once prohibited commoners.

We were the only ones at Kukaniloko during our visit.  We made sure to tell the kids not to touch anything, and to be very respectful.

Be respectful!
We walked up a dirt path that led up to the birthing stones, and I felt a sense of stillness and awe as I imagined the birthing ritual that took place at that very spot centuries ago (you can read some information here about the birthing ritual).

We examined the stones, some of which were for birthing, and others with purposes of navigation and astronomy as well.

There are numerous stones throughout the site, and knowing that centuries ago the ancient Hawaiians used those same exact stones was quite inspiring.  My kids took interest in seeing the different types of stones in the area, guessing what they may have been used for, and trying to see if they could find stones that represented the islands of Hawaii.

Kukaniloko is such an integral piece of Hawaii's history that will continue to teach and inspire for generations to come.

Upon leaving, a faint rainbow (anuenue) appeared.  Some say that in Hawaiian culture, a rainbow represents an Ali`i's presence. I thought that was a fitting way to end our visit at Kukaniloko.
A faint rainbow appeared
We were at Kukaniloko for just a few minutes, but it was enough to instill in me a greater appreciation of the history of the place I am lucky to call home.

Stay tuned for more on our Custom Tour with Circle Island Tour in 24.

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