If the sand hadn’t shifted just right, and if a beam of sunlight hadn’t illuminated the shoreline at that very moment, and if no one had actually been on the beach to see it, 17 giant petroglyphs in Hawaii might never have been rediscovered.In the past several weeks, working off a tip from a couple of tourists who saw the unusual markings in the sand during a trip to the beach last month, archaeologists have uncovered a series of figures etched into sandstone across a 60-foot stretch of the Waianae Coast, on the island of Oahu.The artist has captured the waddling walk of a baby duck with a few lines.The same artistic merit is true for a hula dancer petroglyph. There’s a petroglyph near the Kona Village resort on Hawai‘i that may depict human sacrifice.Images made by pecking or scraping into rock are called petroglyphs; those made by painting pigments on the rock are called pictographs.If there are other structures or artifacts nearby, the age of rock art can be estimated by association.
Their aesthetic and distinctiveness are heralded as “undoubtedly made for the same purposes as those of the other islands …
Headdress would probably be associated with kings, alii, kahuna, and demi-gods, hence these numbers indicate an unusual concern with high status subjects.” Forty percent of the figures at Loaa have special heads, but no two are really alike.
This emphasis given to designing the head with such idiosyncrasies imply status and religious association, the report elaborates.
The island of Kahoolawe is a culturally significant place. Because she knew something I had yet to really understand at that age, and wouldn't until a month ago as an adult: The island’s longstanding reverence as a sacred place for centuries, documented in stone across Kahoolawe.
As a child, I remember learning this early on, in an abstract sense, mainly from my tireless civil rights protesting, social justice working grandmother who helped rear me. During a recent visit to the island, the Kahoolawe Island Reserve Commission took our service-learning group to a handful of historic and honorific sites that prove it to be so.
evident that some possessed mana, or spiritual power,” Edward Stasack, Ronald Dorn, and Georgia Lee, who were formerly commissioned by by the Kahoolawe Island Conveyance Commission in the early ’90s to document the island’s petroglyphs, write in “The Petroglyphs of Kahoolawe Island, Hawaii”: Style-wise, the inverted triangular heads with a bisecting center line are a rare type.