Ancient Stone Art – Ki’i Pohaku

By Hawaii.com Team

Kii Pohaku, Hawaii. Photo: Melinda Shelton.

Ancient Hawaiians called their petroglyphs ki’i pohaku, or images in stone. In Hawaii, the greatest concentration of this ancient art form can be found on the Big Island, still little historic evidence of its origin exists.

A good place to find examples of Hawaiian petroglyphs is the Puako Petroglyph Archaeological Preserve, located just north of the Mauna Lani Resort. About 1,200 petroglyphs have been documented in the area where public access is allowed. More petroglyphs are scattered throughout the resort, which conducts guided tours. The Outrigger Waikoloa Beach Hotel maintains a marked trail leading to petroglyphs adjacent to the resort. And the King’s Shops shopping mall offers a complimentary guided tour of the trail. Pu’u Loa Petroglyphs, located off the Chain of Craters Road in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, is another place to see ancient Hawaiian art.

Please do not step on or attempt to take rubbings from the ki’i pohaku. To do so will slowly wear them down.

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