Sunday, January 23, 2011

Stone-Age Tweets: Big Island Petroglyphs


On the Big Island of Hawaii are numerous fields of smooth lava (called pahoehoe) where carvings tell the stories of the day, ranging in importance from profound historical events to a proud father announcing a birth. Some depict the sails of the first European vessels and rifles in the late eighteenth century and others go back even farther than the arrival of the first Polynesians in the second century.

Although the rock etchings are found on all Hawaiian islands, the Big Island has by far the most charted sites, many in public parks. The Big Island has the most appropriate smooth lava to work with, and the ground has not had the added eons (5 million years in the case of Kauai) to erode or be covered by plants and soil. This offering is from a history park near the Mauna Lani Resort in South Kohala. Adventurers can find unpublicized petroglyphs by exploring likely places. For listings and directions, see Hawaii the Big Island Trailblazer.