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Ulupo Heiau State Historic Site

Ulupo Heiau State Historic Site

1150 Kailua Rd, Maunawili (HI), 96734, United States

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(808) 587-0300

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Description Ulupō Heiau on the eastern edge of Kawai Nui Marsh in Kailua, Hawaii, is an ancient site associated in legend with the menehune, but later with high chiefs of Oahu, such as Kakuhihewa in the 15th century and Kualii in the late 17th century. It may have reached the peak of its importance in 1750, before being abandoned after Oahu was conquered in the 1780s. The site became a territorial park in 1954, was partially restored in the early 1960s, marked with a bronze plaque by the State Commission on Historical Sites in 1962, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.The massive stone platform of the heiau measures 140 by 180ft, with outer walls up to 30ft high, its size and scale indicating both its cultural importance and the chiefly power of its patrons. Many of the stones may have been transported from as far as Kualoa, more than 10mi away. Although it probably began as an agricultural heiau (mapele) with springs feeding crops of taro, banana, sweet potato, and sugarcane along the fringes of the 400acre Kawai Nui pond full of mullet and other fish. However, the great warrior chief Kualii may have converted it to a heiau luakini, with an altar, an oracle tower, thatched hale, and wooden images.