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Temples, Shrines, and Heiau


At Nanina, which is about 1,000 ft east of Kalanihale Point. The temple is a low embankment, 35 ft long and 5 ft wide.


Hidden by nature and buried under the sands at Kaununui. The temple exposes itself only under certain circumstances. This unveiling takes place when there is a tsunami or extremely rough seas. Kauwaha is a very large heiau. Its upright walls are made of black rock. Among those Niihauans fortunate enough to have seen this heiau during the 1946 tsunami were Tutu Kaui and Olivia Kamala. There is a special saying for Ka-unu-nui that also includes the name of the heiau:


Located on the eastern shore of Kawaihoa. In addition to the temple, there are remnants of an old village found at this site with paepae foundations. In 1867, the Pacific Commercial Advertiser made reference to a leper settlement near this area.


Located at Pu'u-Pueo, where several other temples are located.


This was reported in 1912 by Stokes to be at Puhi-ula, although the remains cannot be seen.


There is said to be a pu'uhonua next to Pu'u Koae at Kihawahine. It is an oblong enclosure built of limestone slabs with a low bench encircling the exterior walls. The bench on the outside and the entrance facing inland (east) are unusual features. In many places, the base of the walls are faced with large slabs set on edge. There were interior enclosures at each end for the altars.


This is a ko'a, or fishing shrine, located at Kaunupou.

BACK TO TOP [Tava,Keale 1989:12] (NOT CONFIRMED)

Various Places

Pele's Pit
Pele digs her pit on Ni'ihau at Kaluakawila [near Kiekie]. This pit extends from Kaluakawila to Pu'ulama. This is the malua, or hole in the ground.

This is where Pele stood pverlooking Kaua'i while looking for a suitable home on Kaua'i.

A place where the spirits wander, friendless souls.
(Kamakau 1964:49)

High ridge hills where the dead were buried
(Kamakau 1964:38).

A leaping place on Ni'ihau