Hare Fjord

Hare Fjord, Scoresby Sund, Greenland. Day 47. 14th August 2013.

From Red Island we moved up Rødefjord and around the corner to Harefjord.  Perhaps there was a prehistoric Krishna community here but I think it a touch more likely the fjord was named after the Arctic Hare.

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Archaeology, Greenland, Hare Fjord, Icebergs, Inuit, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Scoresby Sund, seascape, Travel, Wilderness

There are many places on the eastern Greenland coast with the remains of ancient Inuit habitations.  Here Carol, our resident archaeologist, explains such a site.

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Archaeology, Greenland, Hare Fjord, Icebergs, Inuit, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Scoresby Sund, seascape, Travel, Wilderness

This I think is the view from the same place but looking in a different direction.

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Archaeology, Greenland, Hare Fjord, Icebergs, Inuit, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Scoresby Sund, seascape, Travel, Wilderness

Same view, longer lens.

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Archaeology, Greenland, Hare Fjord, Icebergs, Inuit, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Scoresby Sund, seascape, Travel, Wilderness

Many of us went for a walk and visited the ice river that you can see above.

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Archaeology, Greenland, Hare Fjord, Icebergs, Inuit, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Scoresby Sund, seascape, Travel, Wilderness

Up close, of course, it’s a lot bigger.

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Archaeology, Greenland, Hare Fjord, Icebergs, Inuit, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Scoresby Sund, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

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Archaeology, Greenland, Hare Fjord, Icebergs, Inuit, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Scoresby Sund, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

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Archaeology, Greenland, Hare Fjord, Icebergs, Inuit, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Scoresby Sund, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

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Archaeology, Greenland, Hare Fjord, Icebergs, Inuit, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Scoresby Sund, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

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Archaeology, Greenland, Hare Fjord, Icebergs, Inuit, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Scoresby Sund, seascape, Travel, Wilderness

A view of Hare Fjord from near the ice river.  Click image for a larger view.

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Archaeology, Greenland, Hare Fjord, Icebergs, Inuit, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Scoresby Sund, seascape, Travel, Wilderness

Later that evening, the weather was closing in and we were sailing on, along Øfjord.  All following images are from the ship.

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Archaeology, Greenland, Hare Fjord, Icebergs, Inuit, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Scoresby Sund, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

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Archaeology, Greenland, Hare Fjord, Icebergs, Inuit, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Scoresby Sund, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

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Archaeology, Greenland, Hare Fjord, Icebergs, Inuit, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Scoresby Sund, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

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Archaeology, Greenland, Hare Fjord, Icebergs, Inuit, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Scoresby Sund, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

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Archaeology, Greenland, Hare Fjord, Icebergs, Inuit, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Scoresby Sund, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

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Archaeology, Greenland, Hare Fjord, Icebergs, Inuit, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Scoresby Sund, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

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Archaeology, Greenland, Hare Fjord, Icebergs, Inuit, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Scoresby Sund, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

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Archaeology, Greenland, Hare Fjord, Icebergs, Inuit, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Scoresby Sund, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

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Archaeology, Greenland, Hare Fjord, Icebergs, Inuit, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Scoresby Sund, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

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Archaeology, Greenland, Hare Fjord, Icebergs, Inuit, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Scoresby Sund, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

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Archaeology, Greenland, Hare Fjord, Icebergs, Inuit, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Scoresby Sund, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

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Clavering Island (with Musk Oxen and Inuit Sites)

Between Spitsbergen and Greenland. Days 43. 10th August 2013.

Archaeology, Clavering Island, Greenland, Inuit, Landscape, Musk Ox, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

In our first landing on the desolate wilderness of Greenland, at Dødemandsbugten (Dead Man’s Bay) on Clavering Island, we found a resident population of humans.  They were a working party of Danes, restoring some of the old huts.  So our first experience in Greenland was unexpected social interaction.

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Archaeology, Clavering Island, Greenland, Inuit, Landscape, Musk Ox, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

This is the first of eleven posts on Greenland.  The map shows our route, coming down from the north.  Click the map if you would like to see it larger.

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Archaeology, Clavering Island, Greenland, Inuit, Landscape, Musk Ox, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Many of us went for a walk in the hills behind the hut and soon came across a group of musk oxen, though quite some distance away.

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Archaeology, Clavering Island, Greenland, Inuit, Landscape, Musk Ox, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Musk oxen, despite the name, are actually more closely related to sheep and goats than oxen.

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Archaeology, Clavering Island, Greenland, Inuit, Landscape, Musk Ox, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Archaeology, Clavering Island, Greenland, Inuit, Landscape, Musk Ox, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Turning in the opposite direction from the musk oxen, here are a couple of views from the island across the water to the mainland.

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Archaeology, Clavering Island, Greenland, Inuit, Landscape, Musk Ox, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Archaeology, Clavering Island, Greenland, Inuit, Landscape, Musk Ox, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

There was the remains of a whole ancient Inuit village near the beach, not far from the hut.  This I think is the remains of an Inuit safe or fridge, where they could store kills such as seals, safe from polar bears and arctic foxes.

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Archaeology, Clavering Island, Greenland, Inuit, Landscape, Musk Ox, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

This is the foundations of an Inuit house.  The entrance way is the crease in the ground to the right.

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Archaeology, Clavering Island, Greenland, Inuit, Landscape, Musk Ox, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Another house and a few more modern maritime remains.

There were several different waves of Inuit occupation of parts of Greenland, dating back as far as 2500BC.  Settlement failed around 200AD and was not renewed until around 800AD.  Most settlement movements appeared to have started from the north-west.  Vikings also settled in the far south of Greenland from about 980AD to something like 1450.  Our archaeologist Carol said how old these remains were and I remember only vaguely but it may have been something like 600 years ago.

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Archaeology, Clavering Island, Greenland, Inuit, Landscape, Musk Ox, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Another house.  Judging by the mound and the amount of rocks, this may have had a stone roof.  Some used whalebone for roof support.

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Archaeology, Clavering Island, Greenland, Inuit, Landscape, Musk Ox, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

A two-roomed house this time, with the ship and the coast in the distance.

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Archaeology, Clavering Island, Greenland, Inuit, Landscape, Musk Ox, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

After some hours on shore, we went back to the ship for lunch.

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Archaeology, Clavering Island, Greenland, Inuit, Landscape, Musk Ox, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

After lunch, we sailed a little way along the coast of Clavering Island to Eskimones.  Some of us went for a walk inland, accompanied of course by people with rifles and this is a view over a lake in the interior of Clavering Island.

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Archaeology, Clavering Island, Greenland, Inuit, Landscape, Musk Ox, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Back on the beach, there were a number of interesting artifacts of times past.

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And who would have thought that the ancient Inuit would have had metal tea pots and a milk churn.  Most unusual for a neolithic culture.  Then again, perhaps there’s another explanation….

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Archaeology, Clavering Island, Greenland, Inuit, Landscape, Musk Ox, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Another hut being restored, presumably with a Dane beside it.

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And finally, an interesting assortment of boats of perhaps questionable seaworthiness.

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Archaeology, Clavering Island, Greenland, Inuit, Landscape, Musk Ox, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Kahanu Gardens and Pi’ilanihale Heiau (IR)

Maui, Hawaii, 7 March 2015

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View from bedroom balcony, looking towards North Maui.

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Overgrown trees beside the road.

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Archaeology, Hawaii, Heiaus, History, Infrared, Kahanu Gardens, Landscape, Maui, Photography, Pi'ilanihale Heiau, seascape, Travel

Overgrown trees beside the road.

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Following images are all from Kahanu Gardens.  On the next few images we have a series of some of the plants cultivated in the garden and shot in infrared. You might think it’s bizarre to display plant identification shots in infrared but the only reason you might think that is because it is. Apart from that, no other reason at all.

If you find these plants instantly identifiable, resplendent in their natural colours, then you may have a problem. Either you’ve been eating bread contaminated with ergot and are hallucinating or some of your ancestors were snakes. Many or all snakes see in the infrared zone as a way of identifying prey. So perhaps these images may bring out your inner serpentes. And then if you know people who you suspect may be snakes you could always just ask them “Do you see things that glow in the dark?”. Particularly if you live in a country area away from street signs.

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Archaeology, Hawaii, Heiaus, History, Infrared, Kahanu Gardens, Landscape, Maui, Photography, Pi'ilanihale Heiau, seascape, Travel

Kalo.

Here we have Kalo, called taro in most of the rest of Polynesia. It was such an important staple that Hawaiians were said by legend to be descended from the kalo plant. This is a particularly good photograph of a kalo sign, not so much the plants which are mainly out of focus. So this image may help you to recognise another Kalo sign should you stumble across one. Of course you could always just read it, but maybe that would be cheating.

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Archaeology, Hawaii, Heiaus, History, Infrared, Kahanu Gardens, Landscape, Maui, Photography, Pi'ilanihale Heiau, seascape, Travel

Uala, a staple crop favoured in historic times, easy to grow even in dry locations.  (Mind you, if you clicked on the image you could read that too).

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Archaeology, Hawaii, Heiaus, History, Infrared, Kahanu Gardens, Landscape, Maui, Photography, Pi'ilanihale Heiau, seascape, Travel

I think that’s Ki in the left foreground.

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The tree in the left foreground is Noni.

Noni is one of the most widely used medicinal plants in Polynesia.  Its fruits are said to have a pungent odour like limberger cheese when overripe.

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Archaeology, Hawaii, Heiaus, History, Infrared, Kahanu Gardens, Landscape, Maui, Photography, Pi'ilanihale Heiau, seascape, Travel

Ki.

Ki leaves are mainly used in the preparation, transportation and storage of food.  However, they have many other uses including thatching, lei-making and rain capes.  Ki is also said to have supernatural powers for protection and success.

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Archaeology, Hawaii, Heiaus, History, Infrared, Kahanu Gardens, Landscape, Maui, Photography, Pi'ilanihale Heiau, seascape, Travel

Ki in front of the heiau.  There’s a label for the palm tree in front but I cant read it. The ones on top are cocnut trees.

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Archaeology, Hawaii, Heiaus, History, Infrared, Kahanu Gardens, Landscape, Maui, Photography, Pi'ilanihale Heiau, seascape, Travel

Pi’ilanihale Heiau.

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Archaeology, Hawaii, Heiaus, History, Infrared, Kahanu Gardens, Landscape, Maui, Photography, Pi'ilanihale Heiau, seascape, Travel

Pi’ilanihale Heiau.

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Hale Ho’okipa (“Welcome House”).

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Canoe House.

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Archaeology, Hawaii, Heiaus, History, Infrared, Kahanu Gardens, Landscape, Maui, Photography, Pi'ilanihale Heiau, seascape, Travel

Canoe House.

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Canoe House from inside pandanus tree.

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Pandanus leaves.

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Sea coast glimpse.

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Archaeology, Hawaii, Heiaus, History, Infrared, Kahanu Gardens, Landscape, Maui, Photography, Pi'ilanihale Heiau, seascape, Travel

A view of the Red Sea (from Kalahu Point).  Moses wasn’t around at the time (and no Thera eruption) so you can’t see the sea floor.

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Archaeology, Hawaii, Heiaus, History, Infrared, Kahanu Gardens, Landscape, Maui, Photography, Pi'ilanihale Heiau, seascape, Travel

Kahanu House.

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Archaeology, Hawaii, Heiaus, History, Infrared, Kahanu Gardens, Landscape, Maui, Photography, Pi'ilanihale Heiau, seascape, Travel

Kahanu Tombs.

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Kahanu Gardens and Pi’ilanihale Heiau

Maui, Hawaii, 7 March 2015

Archaeology, Hawaii, Heiaus, History, Kahanu Gardens, Landscape, Maui, Photography, Pi'ilanihale Heiau, seascape, Travel

This post is a novelty we haven’t seen for a while, not for ten posts back in fact.  It doesn’t contain any infrared images.  I understand there are some posts in other blogs like this too.

We took off along the south west road, past all the places we went to the previous day, towards Kahanu Gardens.  The first image is at the side of the road not long after we took off, a particularly overgrown patch of forest that caught my eye.

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Archaeology, Hawaii, Heiaus, History, Kahanu Gardens, Landscape, Maui, Photography, Pi'ilanihale Heiau, seascape, Travel

Past Hana, we have arrived at Kahanu Gardens and the huge expanse of grey stone in the background is Pi’ilanihale Heiau.  In early times. Maui comprosed three chiefdoms, at Wailuku, Lele (Lahaina), and Hana.  By 1550, Ali’i Nui (High Chief) Pi’ilani, based at Wailuku, ruled both Wailuku and Lele.  Then he acquired Hana by marriage to become ruler over all of Maui. Pi’ilanihale Heiau is named after him, Pi’ilanihale meaning “house of Pi’ilani “.

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Archaeology, Hawaii, Heiaus, History, Kahanu Gardens, Landscape, Maui, Photography, Pi'ilanihale Heiau, seascape, Travel

It is the largest heiau in the Hawaiian Island and we can get a better idea of the size of it from an aerial view taken from an information board.  It is said to be 15 metres high (50 feet) and 130 by 100 metres (415×340 feet) at the top.  The whole area is kapu so you can’t climb on it or get very close to it.

It was constructed mainly in the 16th century, on top of a smaller earlier structure from the 12th century.

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Archaeology, Hawaii, Heiaus, History, Kahanu Gardens, Landscape, Maui, Photography, Pi'ilanihale Heiau, seascape, Travel

A small place to rest built in traditional style but I doubt it represents a type of original structure.

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Archaeology, Hawaii, Heiaus, History, Kahanu Gardens, Landscape, Maui, Photography, Pi'ilanihale Heiau, seascape, Travel

Stands of ki in front of the heiau.

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Archaeology, Hawaii, Heiaus, History, Kahanu Gardens, Landscape, Maui, Photography, Pi'ilanihale Heiau, seascape, Travel

The edge of the grass is where the kapu area starts.

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Archaeology, Hawaii, Heiaus, History, Kahanu Gardens, Landscape, Maui, Photography, Pi'ilanihale Heiau, seascape, Travel

A grinding stone or hoana, probably used to sharpen and polish adze blades.

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Archaeology, Hawaii, Heiaus, History, Kahanu Gardens, Landscape, Maui, Photography, Pi'ilanihale Heiau, seascape, Travel

A glimpse of the coast.

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Archaeology, Hawaii, Heiaus, History, Kahanu Gardens, Landscape, Maui, Photography, Pi'ilanihale Heiau, seascape, Travel

Evidently a mortar and pestle.

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Archaeology, Hawaii, Heiaus, History, Kahanu Gardens, Landscape, Maui, Photography, Pi'ilanihale Heiau, seascape, Travel

Canoe house.

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Archaeology, Hawaii, Heiaus, History, Kahanu Gardens, Landscape, Maui, Photography, Pi'ilanihale Heiau, seascape, Travel

Canoe house.

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Archaeology, Hawaii, Heiaus, History, Kahanu Gardens, Landscape, Maui, Photography, Pi'ilanihale Heiau, seascape, Travel

Mary Wishard Coconut Grove.

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Archaeology, Hawaii, Heiaus, History, Kahanu Gardens, Landscape, Maui, Photography, Pi'ilanihale Heiau, seascape, Travel

Looking out at the Canoe house from inside, I think, a Pandanus tree.

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Archaeology, Hawaii, Heiaus, History, Kahanu Gardens, Landscape, Maui, Photography, Pi'ilanihale Heiau, seascape, Travel

At the bottom of the gardens was an old house, no longer inhabited.

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Archaeology, Hawaii, Heiaus, History, Kahanu Gardens, Landscape, Maui, Photography, Pi'ilanihale Heiau, seascape, Travel

Much of the gardens were a sugar cane plantation from the mid-nineteenth century.  The gardens were established in 1974 after gifts from descendents of Ali’i Kahanu and the Hana Ranch.  There are some family graves at the back of the house from the Kahanu family that speak of a sad untold story:

  • Anekehawa Kahanu 1917-1922
  • Kaapana Kahanu 1878-1919
  • Ulunanele Kahanu 1909-1913

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Archaeology, Hawaii, Heiaus, History, Kahanu Gardens, Landscape, Maui, Photography, Pi'ilanihale Heiau, seascape, Travel

Sea view.

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Archaeology, Hawaii, Heiaus, History, Kahanu Gardens, Landscape, Maui, Photography, Pi'ilanihale Heiau, seascape, Travel

Seaside plants.

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Archaeology, Hawaii, Heiaus, History, Kahanu Gardens, Landscape, Maui, Photography, Pi'ilanihale Heiau, seascape, Travel

Canoe house and heiau.

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Archaeology, Hawaii, Heiaus, History, Kahanu Gardens, Landscape, Maui, Photography, Pi'ilanihale Heiau, seascape, Travel

Pi’ilanihale Heiau and background hills.

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Monochromes from Hawaii (the Big Island)

Hawaii, Hawaii, 23 to 26 February 2015

Here is a series of monochromes from images in previous posts from Hawaii (the Big Island).

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Archaeology, Black and White, Green Turtles, Hawaii, Kilauea, Landscape, Lava, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Pu'uhonua o Honaunau, The Big Island, Travel, Waipio Bay, Wildlife

This is the lava, palms and sea just below where we were staying.

The next eight images are nearby patterns in the lava.

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Archaeology, Black and White, Green Turtles, Hawaii, Kilauea, Landscape, Lava, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Pu'uhonua o Honaunau, The Big Island, Travel, Waipio Bay, Wildlife .

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Archaeology, Black and White, Green Turtles, Hawaii, Kilauea, Landscape, Lava, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Pu'uhonua o Honaunau, The Big Island, Travel, Waipio Bay, Wildlife .

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Archaeology, Black and White, Green Turtles, Hawaii, Kilauea, Landscape, Lava, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Pu'uhonua o Honaunau, The Big Island, Travel, Waipio Bay, Wildlife .

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Archaeology, Black and White, Green Turtles, Hawaii, Kilauea, Landscape, Lava, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Pu'uhonua o Honaunau, The Big Island, Travel, Waipio Bay, Wildlife .

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Archaeology, Black and White, Green Turtles, Hawaii, Kilauea, Landscape, Lava, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Pu'uhonua o Honaunau, The Big Island, Travel, Waipio Bay, Wildlife .

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Archaeology, Black and White, Green Turtles, Hawaii, Kilauea, Landscape, Lava, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Pu'uhonua o Honaunau, The Big Island, Travel, Waipio Bay, Wildlife .

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Archaeology, Black and White, Green Turtles, Hawaii, Kilauea, Landscape, Lava, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Pu'uhonua o Honaunau, The Big Island, Travel, Waipio Bay, Wildlife .

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Archaeology, Black and White, Green Turtles, Hawaii, Kilauea, Landscape, Lava, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Pu'uhonua o Honaunau, The Big Island, Travel, Waipio Bay, Wildlife .

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View along the south west coast.

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Laupahoehoe.

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Yellow-billed cardinals at Laupahoehoe.  This is an image specially selected for those with red black colour blindness (and they would no doubt wonder why I made the comment).

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Archaeology, Black and White, Green Turtles, Hawaii, Kilauea, Landscape, Lava, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Pu'uhonua o Honaunau, The Big Island, Travel, Waipio Bay, Wildlife

Waipio Bay.

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Green turtles, Punalau’u beach.

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Archaeology, Black and White, Green Turtles, Hawaii, Kilauea, Landscape, Lava, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Pu'uhonua o Honaunau, The Big Island, Travel, Waipio Bay, Wildlife

Pu’uhonua O Honaunau.

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Archaeology, Black and White, Green Turtles, Hawaii, Kilauea, Landscape, Lava, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Pu'uhonua o Honaunau, The Big Island, Travel, Waipio Bay, Wildlife

Pu’uhonua O Honaunau.

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Green turtle, Pu’uhonua O Honaunau.

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Archaeology, Black and White, Green Turtles, Hawaii, Kilauea, Landscape, Lava, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Pu'uhonua o Honaunau, The Big Island, Travel, Waipio Bay, Wildlife

Pu’uhonua O Honaunau.

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South west road.

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Kilauea.

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Fern, Thurston Lava Tube, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

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Probably Holei Sea Arch, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

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Lava seascape, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

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Kilauea

Hawaii (The Big Island), Hawaii, 26 February 2015

Archaeology, Hawaii, Kilauea, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, The Big Island, Travel

We took off to visit the Kilauea Volcano and went along a section of the road with dense overhanging trees.

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Here is the main crater.  You can’t get any closer to it than this, presumably because of potential dangers from gas emissions.  Kilauea has been in continuous eruption since 1983 though involving no more than slow flows of lava and occasional pyrotechnics.  There is a current lava flow from one of the side vents but it is in dense bushland and access is prohibited.  Explosive eruptions did occur in pre-European time though, so it could become more dangerous again.

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Here is a view from further back, giving an idea of the outer crater.  The outer crater was once a huge caldera but eruptions from the inner crater have slowly filled it up over time.  The outer crater floor is actually not flat; it gently slopes away from the inner crater.

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Another view from further away, giving a better idea of the size of the outer crater.

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We are on the Chain of Craters Road down to the coast.  This is the entrance to the Thurston Lava Tube, an impressive tunnel but there were too many people in it to make a photograph practical or worthwhile.  I waited about ten minutes for a clear view here.

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This is a fern hanging down in the entrance of the lava tube (that you can also see in the previous image).

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Down at the coast now, I think this is Holei Sea Arch.

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Driving back up, this is a landscape created by lava flows.

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Here you can see where a recent (black) lava flow has stopped and some grassland survives.

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This is one of the many side vents, not currently active.

I perhaps should have waited until after dark to show you the glow of the main crater of Kilauea but I was running very short of petrol and was more concerned to make it to a nearby petrol station before they may have closed.

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Pu’uhonua o Honaunau

Hawaii (The Big Island), Hawaii, 25 February 2015

Archaeology, Green Turtles, Hawaii, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Place of Refuge, Pu'uhonua o Honaunau, seascape, The Big Island, Travel, Wildlife

In the previous post we were driving up the west coast of the island of Hawaii but I omitted the visit to Pu’uhonua o Honaunau and I will cover this now.  It is alternatively known as the Place of Refuge and this starts at the wall in the distance.  In the foreground is part of the adjoining zone of royal residence.  Of course the appearance of everything is no doubt very different to what it was 200 years ago.

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These are Halau, long open-ended structures equivalent to schools.

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This is one of the fish ponds which would have been stocked with choice specimens for the consumption of royalty only.

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Apart from warriors, servants and slaves, this was an area for royalty only.  Behind are the walls of the Place of Refuge.

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A closer look at the walls of Pu’uhonua o Honaunau, around 10 feet high and 17 feet thick.  Although know as a Place of Refuge, it is more accurately a place of Absolution, particularly for those in danger of their life.

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There were many ways your life might have been forfeit in ancient Hawaii.  You might be a warrior from a losing side or a member of their family.  You might have contravened kapu and in some cases this would mean you were implicitly sentenced to death.  (Kapu is tapu in the rest of Polynesia and is the source of the word taboo).  There were many ways to break kapu.  Some activities and some foods were kapu for women, as was men and woman eating together.  Some fish and timber were kapu at certain times for conservation reasons.  A commoner could not look directly at an ali’i (a chief, equivalent to ariki for Maori), be visible with their head higher than the ali’i, or have their shadow touch the shadow of the ali’i.   Restrictions such as the last were particularly acute when the mana (prestige, power) of the ali’i was magnified because their parents were siblings.

Once a person who had contravened kapu made into the Pu’uhonua o Honaunau, however, they were safe.  They could not then be harmed and a priest would perform a ceremony to absolve them of the taint.  They could then return past the walls and their restored status would be respected by all.

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Several tsunamis have broken over the site over the years and destroyed the structures.  Also, Kamehameha II abolished the system of kapu in 1819 by eating with his female relatives and the site was abandoned after that.  In some places it is difficult to make out the structures that would have originally stood.  In front of the palm trees is the scant remains of an ancient heiau wiped away by tsunamis.

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This is a stone that one of the wives of Kamehameha I is said to have hidden under.  They had a disagreement and she fled to Pu’uhonua o Honaunau.  He came searching for her, she was given away by the barking of her dog and they made up.

You can also see the corner of a heiau that would originally have had wooden buildings on top.

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Archaeology, Green Turtles, Hawaii, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Place of Refuge, Pu'uhonua o Honaunau, seascape, The Big Island, Travel, Wildlife Sections on the stonework in the heiau wall.

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Archaeology, Green Turtles, Hawaii, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Place of Refuge, Pu'uhonua o Honaunau, seascape, The Big Island, Travel, Wildlife .

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Not far from the heiau, a green turtle was pulled up on the lava.

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Archaeology, Green Turtles, Hawaii, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Place of Refuge, Pu'uhonua o Honaunau, seascape, The Big Island, Travel, Wildlife .

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Nearby, another was swimming around at the edge of the rocks, seemingly feeding on the seaweed in the cracks.

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Archaeology, Green Turtles, Hawaii, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Place of Refuge, Pu'uhonua o Honaunau, seascape, The Big Island, Travel, Wildlife .

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Archaeology, Green Turtles, Hawaii, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Place of Refuge, Pu'uhonua o Honaunau, seascape, The Big Island, Travel, Wildlife .

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Archaeology, Green Turtles, Hawaii, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Place of Refuge, Pu'uhonua o Honaunau, seascape, The Big Island, Travel, Wildlife .

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This is Hale o Keawe, a rebuilt temple and mausoleum that would originally have held the bones of twenty-three ali’i.  These bones were what made Pu’uhonua o Honaunau sacred and their mana was the source of the power to absolve transgressions of kapu.

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Archaeology, Green Turtles, Hawaii, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Place of Refuge, Pu'uhonua o Honaunau, seascape, The Big Island, Travel, Wildlife .

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Archaeology, Green Turtles, Hawaii, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Place of Refuge, Pu'uhonua o Honaunau, seascape, The Big Island, Travel, Wildlife .

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A half-sized reconstruction of the original Hale o Keawe temple.  The original was built around 1650.

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