Pu’uhonua Guardian on Flickr.
This ki’i (carved wooden image) stands just outside Pu’uhonua, the Place of Refuge. If a Hawaiian broke the kapu (law) the only way to avoid the penalty of death was to evade the guards and reach the nearest pu’uhonua, which was a sanctuary.
Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park on the island of Hawai’i, also known as the Place of Refuge, preserves one such sanctuary.
I made this after sunset in the last light. Somehow the coming darkness gave a small touch of the fear that must have been in the heart of a kapu breaker seeking the pu’uhonua.
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