Keaīwa Heiau

Keaīwa Heiau

Keaīwa Heiau State Recreation Area encompasses 334 acres (135 ha) above ‘Aiea north of Pearl Harbor.  The terraced stone structure of Keaīwa Heiau is 160 feet (49 m) long by 100 feet (30 m) wide. 

In ancient times, Keaīwa Heiau was used by kāhuna lapa‘au, respected ancient practitioners who used plants and other native and Polynesian-introduced resources to cure illnesses.  Many of the plants used in traditional herbal medicines still grow in the area, and the site is respected by natives for its spiritual and healing energy.

According to Place Names of Hawaii (1974), “the heiau, probably medicinal, is said to have been built in the time of Kākuhihewa. The site was rededicated in 1951, but before that time, people had hauled away stones from the heaiu.”[i]  Keaīwa is defined as “The mystery,” and “...said to be the name of an early priest and to refer to his mysterious healing powers.”[ii]

‘Aiea Loop Trail is a 4˝-mile (7.2-km) hiking trail that begins near the park’s restrooms.  The scenic trail has views of the Ko‘olau Mountains and Lē‘ahi (Diamond Head), as well as Pearl Harbor below.  Also visible along the trail’s eastern ridge is a C-47 cargo plane that wrecked there 1943.

[Keaīwa Heiau, 808-483-2511, ‘Aiea Heights Drive, open 7-sunset daily.]

 



[i]p. 101, Pukui, Mary Kawena, Elbert, Samuel H., and Mookini, Esther T. Mookini.  Place Names of Hawaii: Revised & Expanded Edition.  Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1974.

[ii]p. 101, Pukui, Mary Kawena, Elbert, Samuel H., and Mookini, Esther T. Mookini.  Place Names of Hawaii: Revised & Expanded Edition.  Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1974.