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Puuhonua O Honaunau (1987)

Kii (“key-ee”), wooden statues believed to embody gods, guard the entrance to the sacred place of refuge at Puuhonua O Honaunau (“Poo-oo-hoe-new-ah” oh Hoe-now-now“) National Historic Park on the Big Island of Hawaii. A puuhonua was a sacred place where a violator of the elaborate old Hawaiian kapu code of conduct could flee to escape the death penalty that all such violations carried. The only access was by swimming through the open ocean to this entrance. If the violator wasn’t eaten by sharks or swept out to sea by riptides, he could obtain appropriate absolution from the resident priests and return home alive.


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