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Cultural Resources Reconnaissance
of the Mauna Kea Summit Region

REPORT 1. Ethnographic Background of the Mauna Kea summit Region by Holly McEldowney
REPORT 2. Archaeological Reconnaissance Survey by Patrick C. McCoy


Prepared for Group 70, November 1982
Dept. of Anthropology, Bishop Museum

The resource most noted by visitors to the summit plateau is the fine-grained basalt extracted and worked into stone adzes. All but one of the references gathered are the accounts of foreign visitors who described in some detail, and with some knowledge, the function of this quarry and its products after 1870. If this knowledge was derived from Hawaiian informants, this source was not acknowledged.
The only native Hawaiian mention of this resource, or its use on Mauna Kea, found thus far is the testimony in the 1873 boundary dispute between Humuula and Kaohe ahupua‘a. In reciting noteworthy landmarks along the boundary, which he claimed crossed the summit, Haiki mentioned first "Kaluakaakoi a cave there they used to get stone adzes out" and later reiterated, "My parents told me Humuula went to Kaluakaakoi and Poliahu. We used to go there after adzes for Humuula people." If these statements are valid, and if his knowledge of the boundaries came from his "father," "grandfather," and "father of my wife" as he claims, and considering that he was born "after the battle of Kekuakalani" (i.e., 1791)... then the knowledge and use of the quarry as implied from these statements potentially stretch from the 1770's to the 1840's.

 

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