mental Vacation to Hawaii anytime through beautiful photographs taken by Mike
& Kim Crinella, owners of this web site and the company A Friend in the Islands. All photos are copyrighted by Mike & Kim Crinella for use on our web sites
and may not be copied or used without our written permission.
Since it is hard to see the detail of the carving on the rock on the left over the internet we have outlined the petroglyphs on the right to reveal an apparent hunting scene with 13 men (women did not hunt), a dog, a horse, and the object of the hunt which we are guessing is a cow or exaggerated pig.
There are many petroglyphs showing men, women, and children in a variety of poses and doing a variety of actions like surfing, hunting, and fishing. Some of the bodies are drawn with a thick triangular torso and others are very slender sticks. Carvings showing a closed triangular body usually represent a man. A penis is often drawn on the petroglyphs depicting a man. A woman petroglyph is usually drawn with an triangular body with the point near the legs NOT connecting. The open triangular body represents the womb. Breasts are also often drawn on petroglyphs depicting a woman.
The below petroglyph shows a hunting scene with a man, dog, and Axis deer. Dogs were brought to the Hawaiian Islands by the first Polynesians. Eight Axis deer were brought to Lanai from India in the mid 1800's. Today there are over 8,000 Axis deer on Lanai that are descendents of the original eight. Axis deer are still hunted on Lanai today.
In the photo below it is hard to see an arch over the petro man. This is called a "Rainbow Man" petroglyph. The rainbow arch over the head is believed to signify he is an honored and respected man, most likely a warrior.
The wild Axis deer population has grown from 8 to 8,000 since they were introduced in the mid 1800's. The deer are overgrazing and causing ecological problems like erosion. Hunting by permit is encouraged on Lanai to help control the deer population.
The below photo to the right depicts a dog and a chicken. The first settlers in Hawaii brought chickens and dogs with them from the Marquesas Islands between 0-500 A.D.
When early Polynesians arrived to the Hawaiian Islands Lanai was still a smoldering volcano. The Polynesians believed the island was inhabited by demons and did not inhabit Lanai until the 1500s. Before the 1500s banishment to Lanai was used as an alternative to death for harsh crimes.
Petroglyphs are typically found in clusters and there are several collections of petroglyphs found throughout the Hawaiian Islands. The most common petroglyphs are of men, women, children, fishing, surfing, dogs, chickens, deer, a gourd dancer, double hulled canoe, runner, turtle, lizards, line marchers, travelers, and hunters.
If you are planning a visit to Lanai and would like to check out the petroglyphs in person these are located near Shipwreck Beach at the end of HI 440 (Keomuku Road). When the paved road ends take the north branch sand road all the way to the end. Look out for soft sand spots. There are picnic tables at the end of the road and places to park cars. Look for the remains of the lighthouse at Po'aiwa, it's a concrete slab with a white X on it. From the old lighthouse foundation follow the trail south for about 200 paces. There is white paint on the rocks marking the trail. You will come across a large rock painted in white paint requesting visitors to not desecrate the petroglyphs. As you pass the rock and descend down the slope look at the large boulder on the right. It is covered with petroglyphs as are many of the rocks in this area. Please do not desecrate the petroglyph artifacts by scraping at them or carving your name in the rocks!
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