noun (plural same or heiaus)
An ancient Hawaiian temple or sacred site.
- Because it is the youngest in the chain, it holds open many windows to the past, through heiaus or ancient temples, a sacred ‘place of refuge,’ and petroglyphs - messages from the ancients carved into the lava flows.
- The largest were heiau waikaua, or war temples, at which sacrifices occurred.
- The heiau, on the island of Hawaii's windswept northern tip, is one of several important sites that make the Big Island the state's most visible repository of traditional native culture.
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