Kukaniloko Birthing Stones

Within a five acre historical site in Central O`ahu lies one of the most sacred and revered places of the Hawaiian Kingdom. The Kukaniloko Birthing Stones were established in the 12th century by an O`ahu chief in preparations for the birth of his son, Kapawa.

Since then, it became the hallowed site for birth of Hawaiian ali`i (chiefs) still revered to this day for the mana (energy, power) of the area. It was believed that women who gave birth here would have delivery with ease and free of pain.

Birthing stones at Kukaliniko. Image courtesy Tripadvisor.com

The women would follow a strict regime of diet and exercise prescribed by the kahuna (priest) and when their time of birth came, they were carried onto a significant birth rock via a finely woven mat. The women would never sit directly on the stone, rather always on the mat.

It is believed the kahuna would administer plants and tinctures to ease labor while attendants stood by to brace the mother. Nearby is Hoolonopahu Heiau (temple) where the kahuna would make preparations to sever the umbilical cord of the newly born royalty.

At the heiau there are two stone drums which were pounded at the time of birth to announce the birth. This drumming could be heard for miles away.

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