Kukaniloko Birth Stones
Last week, Luke and I visited another “spot on the map”, Kukaniloko, the sacred birth stones of Oahu. We’ve since found out many locals have not visited this spot although it is one of the most sacred places in Hawaii.
For over 800 years, the ancient royals gave birth on the stones, ensuring high regard for the newborns. The chiefs witnessed the birth and ceremonially cut the umbilical cord then pledged their support to the newborn.
No one else was at the spot when we arrived at the small parking area just off Route 80, directly opposite Whitmore Avenue. If we hadn’t seen the marker on our map, we would have thought we were driving into a pineapple field. We drove past the drive and had to double back. A very worn, small King Kamehameha marker on the north side of the drive directed us in.
The parking lot was dirt, the iron-rich red soil common in the area. It had rained earlier, so we stepped carefully.
The path to the grove of eucalyptus trees that house the birthing stones is about 300 yards long. It may have been my imagination, but I swear I cold feel the echoes of labor pains as I walked it. How many royal mothers were carried over this same path, their bodies twisted in labor as their child struggled to be born?
Trade winds shook tree leaves as we walked among the stones. Small puddles of rainwater lay in the indentations carved by the feet of the birth retainers, who stood on the stones as they braced the mother.
A perimeter of stones circled the main area, a warning to keep out strangers. We hardly spoke, the history of Kukaniloko pressed down on us.
Kukaniloko Birth Stones left me in awe
Few places I’ve visited that have left me with a profound sense of awe and history. Monument Rocks, Kansas; South Point on Big Island; and Kukaniloko on Oahu. They’ve left an indelible impression.
For more information, visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kukaniloko_Birth_Site