Did you know that there are petroglyphs in Hawaii? Petroglyph carvings are made with one stone used as a hammer and a second stone sharp enough to carve out the image of the petroglyph. Though these stone engravings are more closely related to other areas of the globe, actually petroglyph sites might be found as evidence of ancient peoples all around the world.
European petroglyphs are considered to be the oldest, estimated to be more than 10,000 years old. Throughout Polynesia, there are numerous examples of petroglyphs, many dating back thousands of years. Of the island chains, Hawaii has the most important number of known petroglyphs. They are found everywhere in the island.
For identification purposes, the Hawaiian petroglyphs have been separated into three categories or styles: descriptive, symbolic, and cryptic. Descriptive glyphs are easily recognizable objects, comparable to people, plants, and animals, which need little interpretation to be understandable to modern viewers. Symbolic images are people who, while recognizable, have meanings that might be interpreted in any number of the way. The precise meaning was known only by the creator, and today it could only be possible to guess on the meanings behind the symbols.
Cryptic glyphs are even less clear as to their meaning, and these are the topic of much debate. Some researchers suggest that cryptic symbols have double meanings and in some cases hidden meanings. Certainly these images have a personal or spiritual meaning at which modern man can only guess.
Some of these symbols exist in other form to the present day; these are Hawaiian tribal tattoos inspired by the stone petroglyph carvings. In actual fact, in modern times it has become highly regarded with native Hawaiians to wear tribal tattoos taken from the photographs of the petroglyphs. It is clear that the Hawaiians of today find deep spiritual meaning in these images. Often, it’s some extent of pride to have one of these ancient images tattooed as a way to connect with ancient Hawaiian ancestry.
The petroglyphs depict everyday life in addition to special events and ceremonies. Often, the pictures are meant to record important happenings. Other instances of petroglyphs were carved during the ceremony itself. One such ceremony occurred following the birth of a baby. During this ceremony, a hole bored into the face of the stone allowed for the insertion of the piko, or umbilical cord, of a newly born child. This ceremony was said to make sure the long life of the baby.
The most important concentration of Hawaiian petroglyphs will be found within the fields of Pu’u Loa, located in Hawaii’s Volcano National Park. Tourists come in large numbers to this area to look on the stone carvings. Other petroglyph sites might be found throughout the island. Sadly, there have been cases of vandalism, and some of the glyphs are damaged attributable to past attempts at stealing them. These stone carvings, thousands of years old, are also susceptible to the forces of time, making them very fragile. Although there are many tours that will take you to petroglyph sites, care should be taken to treat them with respect.
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Royal Tiki has a variety of Tiki, hand-carved on Hawaii. Also check for current specials on statues for your Tiki bar
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