Mauna Lahilahi Hawaiian petroglyphs

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It’s a distinct rock feature along the beach (makai) side of Farrington Highway as you travel up the Waianae Coast through Makaha.  Mauna Lahilahi includes fascinating remnants of the early Hawaiian civilization that thrived for centuries before contact with outsiders.

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There are numerous old petroglyphs carved into the rocks, apparently by different hands and at different times.  Some have been marred by modern graffiti or chipped away by time, but many are surprisingly intact, and include figures of both humans and dogs.

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Sometimes you have to look very closely to spot the images.

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Mauna Lahilahi can be climbed relatively easily, but you do have to watch your step, and it’s definitely not for everyone.  The views from the tiny peak are spectacular.  It almost feels like you are on the edge of the world.

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Around the base of Mauna Lahilahi are remnants of several old heiau, or traditional Hawaiian temples.  They should not be disturbed.

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If you visit Mauna Lahilahi, be aware that there are often several small encampments of homeless people tucked among the rocks and scrub around the base and along the shoreline, and some much larger and unrulier encampments elsewhere along the Waianae Coast.  The campers usually show a reasonable level of respect if you do too, and some individuals are quite friendly.  But there are also some hard-core drug abusers and real trouble-makers who don’t need much provocation to lash out, so it’s best to keep your voice down and not stare or do anything to create conflict.

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