Here’s a tongue twister for you: Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau. Hawaiian is a seemingly difficult language to pronounce, but it really isn’t. The key is to break words into individual syllables. So Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau is pronounced “poo-oo-HO-new-ah o HAW-now-now.” Easy, isn’t it? Not!
Hōnaunau is a small town south of Kailua-Kona, the main city on the western side of the island of Hawaii. A puʻuhonua was a place of refuge to which people who broke one of the ancient laws could flee to evade death. Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau, then, means place of refuge of Hōnaunau.
Keone'ele Cove, the traditional landing place for royal canoes and off-limits to commoners
Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park preserves one of Hawaii’s most sacred historic places. This site was once home to the chiefs of Kona, one of the six independent chiefdoms of ancient Hawaii all of whom answered to their supreme ruler, or king. Built in the 1500s, a massive wall over 1,000 ft. long, 17 ft. thick and up to 12 ft. tall, separates what once were the royal grounds from the place of refuge, which was both a religious center and a sanctuary for lawbreakers and non-combatants in time of war.