Maui – Iao Valley

Also on Maui is the Iao Valley.  Another popular stop for tourist.

The state park is located on 6.2 acres (2.5 ha) at the end of Iao Valley Road (Highway 32). The Iao Needle (Kukaemoku) is a famous landmark in the state park, a vegetation-covered lava remnant rising 1,200 feet (370 m) from the valley floor or 2,250 feet (690 m) when measured from sea level. The needle is surrounded by the cliffs of the West Maui Mountains, an extinct volcano. One can take a short trail (Iao Needle Lookout Trail and Ethnobotanical Loop) to a windy overlook. Park hours are from 7 am to 7 pm.

The Hawaiian god Kane is considered to be the procreator and the provider of life. He is associated with wai (fresh water) as well as clouds, rain, streams and springs. Kanaloa, the Hawaiian god of the underworld, is represented by the phallic stone of the Iao Needle.

Kapawa, the king of Hawaii prior to Pili, was buried here. Maui’s ruler Kakae, in the late 15th century, designated Iao Valley as an alii burial ground. The remains were buried in secret places. In 1790, the Battle of Kepaniwai took place there, in which Kamehameha the Great defeated Kalanikupule and the Maui army during his campaign to unify the islands. The battle was said to be so bloody that dead bodies blocked Iao Stream, and the battle site was named Kepaniwai (“the damming of the waters”).

Also see the collection on my Flikr Photostream