Hāwea

Famous drum brough by La'amaikahiki from Kahiki

1905 photo from above Hawea looking toward Keahupua fishpond and Kohelepelepe and Kua Mo'o o Kane

Hawea Heiau Platform -  Hawea Heiau platform speaks of the presence of our Hawaiian ancestors who worshiped in the area of this sacred site in Maunalua for over a 1,000 years.


Hawea Heiau is named after a sacred drum that traveled from Kahiki (possibly Tahiti or elsewhere in Eastern Polynesia) into the Maunalua area with La’amaikahiki, the adopted son of the great chief Moikeha. The journey of the Hawea drum can be traced in place names found throughout Polynesia.


On O'ahu, as La’amaikahiki voyaged around Hanauma Bay he chanted as he played the great drum of Hawea. The shark skin pahu drum was previously unknown in the Hawaiian Islands. Its unique sound was heard by Ha’ikamalama, who lived at Hanauma. As the distinct rhythms of the sacred drum and accompanying chants pulsed over the ocean, he ran after the canoe of La’amaikahiki. Ha’ikamalama then copied the unique mele by beating on his chest. Oral tradition has recorded that a copy of the sacred Hawea drum of La’amaikahiki was placed at Hawea Heiau which is believed to be a luakini heiau.  


The Hawea drum later was moved to Kukaniloko heiau and the sound of the Hawea drum was heard at the birth of the great Chief Kuali’i. 


The inscribed platform at Hawea is filled with ki’i pohaku (petroglyphs). In ancient times it gave one an unobstructed view of Keahupua Fishpond. Also seen from this vantage point were the adjoining ridge top heiau of Maunalua, flanked by Kawaihoa Point and Leahi in the distance.

Fish Petroglyph at Hawea

Once a fresh water spring at Hāwea, a rock wall well has been built around the spring.


Hāwea coconut grove in the 1960ʻs


Hula Hālau on the platform of Hāwea

Click on image to see a performance