Hawaiian Prophecies - Na Kupuna Na’auao

Perpetuation & Preservation of Ancestral Knowledge & Practices

Hawaiian Petroglyph’s ~ ki‘i pōhaku

A petroglyph is a stone carving (petro means “stone” and glyph means “carving”).  The ancient Hawaiians referred to petroglyphs as ki‘i pōhaku (ki‘i means “image,” and pōhaku means “stone”). Today petroglyphs are virtually the only prehistoric art of the Hawaiian Islands not in museums, private collections, or hidden away in caves.

Petroglyphs in the Hawaiian Islands are divided into three categories: descriptive, symbolic, and cryptic.  Descriptive petroglyphs may be recognizable subjects, including anthropomorphic images or man-made objects, such as canoes, paddles, sails, and fishhooks, as well as the circles and dots associated with the piko (umbilical cord) ceremony (see below).

Symbolic petroglyphs are less recognizable, often consisting of forms carved in an unnatural manner, yet obviously purposefully created, and thus meaningful to the carver.  Cryptic petroglyphs are mysterious images that are very different than the descriptive and symbolic petroglyphs.

Cryptic petroglyphs are by definition of uncertain meaning and many theories and interpretations have been offered over the years to explain these petroglyphs, yet much uncertainty remains.  Some have suggested that certain cryptic or symbolic petroglyphs may be created in such a way as to have secret or double meanings, similar to the kaona (hidden meanings) often used in Hawaiian chants.

Please visit the source for more information Hawaiian Encyclopedia : Petroglyphs

Posted in 8. Symbols & Geometry.

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