Monument Features

Cultural Feature: Heiau at Mokumanamana (Necker Island)

Heiau at Mokumanamana (Necker Island).
Heiau at Mokumanamana (Necker Island). Photo Credit: Pascal Erhel Hatuuku

The ceremonial sites on Mokumanamana are believed to compose the highest concentration of heiau (shrines) in the Hawaiian archipelago. Fifty-two archaeological sites are found on island, with thirty-three ceremonial heiau - basalt uprights, believed to be celestially oriented, rising from stone alters. The heiau vary only slightly in design, but generally feature rectangular platforms, courts and upright stones. One of the largest of these ceremonial sites measures 18.6 meters by 8.2 meters. Eleven upright stones, of what are believed to be the original 19, are still standing. In addition to ceremonial functions, these upright stones are very popular with the current residents, and numerous seabirds continuously battle each other for the prime real estate.