384 pages | 138 b&w illustrations
Heiau, ‘Āina, Lani is the outcome of a joint fieldwork project by the two authors, spanning more than fifteen years, in a remarkably well-preserved archaeological landscape containing precontact house sites, walls, and terraces for dryland cultivation, and including scores of heiau ranging from simple upright stones dedicated to Kāne, to massive platforms where the priests performed rites of human sacrifice to the war god Kū. Many of these heiau are newly discovered and reported for the first time in the book.
The authors offer a fresh narrative based upon some provocative interpretations of the complex relationships between the Hawaiian temple system, the landscape, and the heavens (the “skyscape”). They demonstrate that renewed attention to heiau in the context of contemporary methodological and theoretical perspectives offers important new insights into ancient Hawaiian cosmology, ritual practices, ethnogeography, political organization, and the habitus of everyday life. Clearly, Heiau, ‘Āina, Lani repositions the study of heiau at the forefront of Hawaiian archaeology.