The City of Refuge
Pu’uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park . Hawaii
In ancient times Hawaiians lived under strict laws. The penalty for violating a sacred Kapu (taboo) was death! To break a Kapu was believed to incur the wrath of the gods. An offender would be chased down and swiftly put to death unless he could reach the safety of a puuhonua or place of refuge. Once there a purification ceremony would absolve him of his sins. Can you imagine being chased across the lava fields, your back forced to the edge of steep cliffs, your only hope to swim in dangerous shark infested currents, hoping to reach - A place of Refuge?