Sunday, April 25, 2010


This heiau was behind a school. Fortunately for us, school was out that day, so we were able to go through the school grounds and enter the trail unannounced to the school officials. The spirits, of course, were a different matter. It had rained the night before and so the trail was very muddy. We slogged our way through the bamboo, the birds alerting the spirits long before our arrival. We hoped they didn’t wake up the feral pigs as well because as soon as we broke out of the bamboo and got under the canopy of the forest, we could see large fresh tracks in the mud. We climbed over a fence, slipped and slid through more mud—Dee always mad at me for not wearing appropriate footwear—my slippers not what he considers standard issue. Of course, for safety reasons, he is right, and he wandered on ahead as I tried to decide whether to take off my slippers all together and just go barefoot. We broke out of the forest into the clearing—a pile of rocks right before us. The rocks were slippery from the rain and the floor of the heiau too rough to venture up. Clearly the spirits that dwell there did not want to be bothered—the floor being so uneven that a twisted ankle would surely have been the result. Beyond the larger heiau was this smaller one—many times a smaller women’s heiau was behind the larger men’s structure. This one had a more inviting aura, as evidenced by the lei adorning the rock at the entrance. Someone is obviously caring for the structures, keeping them cleared from the encroaching jungle, but certainly off the beaten tourist track. In other words, you’d have to know they were back there…

No comments: