Ku kaniloko Royal Birthing Stones


North Kamehameha Hwy (Hwy 80)
Wahiawa , HI


The birth of Hawaiian royalty was a great cultural event. For the child, the proper birthing location assured their eventual high-ranking status incumbent with all the privileges of their class. This event was also of great importance and a source of celebration for the common people. It was at this time that the royalty of the birth was mixed with the power of the natural world and the rains that followed a royal birth were considered of great benefit to everything that they fell on.

Don’t be put off by the nondescript entrance to this state monument. Past the gate and down a short dusty walk you will enter into a peaceful pastoral setting. Even those unfamiliar with the sanctity of stones in Hawaiian culture will be impressed by the dramatic arrangements of dark volcanic rock in a grassy field framed by the blue sky and distant mountain ranges. In the center of this field, made even more dramatic by its isolation, is a small grove of palm trees and eucalyptus.

Within the palm grove, you will find numerous flat volcanic rocks. These are the birthing stones. Many are somewhat oval and some have concave surfaces. Their dark color has been stained red by the native volcanic soils that they rest on. Most appear natural though some may show evidence of having been shaped around the edges by craftsmen over the centuries. Though you may not find many, there are actually 180 documented birthing stones at this site. The specific details of the protocols and their use are no longer known. Gaze out at the fields from here and sense the drama that once was centered on this peaceful and relatively cool upland plateau in the heart of the island of Oahu.

Not far from here, you can visit Keanianileihuaokalani known as the Healing Stone (see the article on this web site.). This unique stone was once located here and was believed to be able to capture the special powers of the rains that fell on it.

The Kukaniloko Birthstone State Monument is sacred and is actively visited for religious purposes. Though it is seldom crowded, please be aware of this and refrain from disturbing any worshippers that may be there when you arrive. Enjoy your visit, imagine its history, and try to absorb some of the peace and serenity that this site provides.
Written By: Bud Hardwick
On: 5/8/2009


H-1 West; Exit 8B to H-2 North; exit 9 onto North Kamehameha Hwy (Hwy 80) north into downtown Wahiawa; continue through the city of Wahaiwa and over the bridge crossing the North Fork Kaukonahua Stream; in about ½ mile the entrance is on the left (west side) at the junction of Whitmore Avenue (Highway 804). The entrance is a gated dirt road, park safely off highway and without blocking the gate.


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