Kūkaniloko: What It Means as the Piko of O’ahu
Years ago an older man from Arizona well-versed in indigenous astronomies went with me to Kūkaniloko. He asked me, “there are seven directions – what are they?”
For about 12 years Iʻve been researching precontact astronomy represented at Kūkaniloko, the site known as the piko of O’ahu – the navel, the center of the island. It is also one of only two royal birthing sites in Ka Pae ‘Āina, the Hawaiian archipelago. The piko-ness of Kūkaniloko has been very much at the core of my research data. And that data showed that precontact astronomy at Kūkaniloko was about much more than sun stations, star rises and sets, calendrics, and navigation. The data showed that bigger ideas, things like the structure of space and time – wā and kā – and matters of gender relations, the importance of ao and pō, and other philosophical or metaphysical ideas were embedded in Kūkanilokoʻs astronomy.
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