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Offbeat Traveler: Kukaniloko Birthstones State Monument in Oahu

March 27, 2012|By Jason La
  • Kukaniloko Birthstones State Monument in Oahu.
Kukaniloko Birthstones State Monument in Oahu. (Carmen Shagam )

When you think of birthstones, diamonds, rubies or emeralds probably come to mind. The rocks you'll find at Kukaniloko Birthstones State Monument in Oahu, however, weren't for wearing. They were used for giving birth.

The monument, one of the Hawaiian island's most important cultural sites, was a birthing location for chiefs. Women of prominent families would recline against the site's birthstone, called Kukaniloko (seen here in the foreground), to bear children. Chiefs witnessed from rows of stones nearby.    

Having children at the site was thought to assure children with high rank in life. It also helped preserved a family's royal lineage, as Kukaniloko was chiefly associated with power.

Times reader Carmen Shagam shot this photo of the monument during a visit in May 2011.

The monument is found at the geographic center (navel) of Oahu in the town of Wahiawa. Admission is free, and the park's hours are from sunrise to sunset.

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