heiau

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English[edit]

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Hale O Pi'ilani Heiau, the largest one known to exist, near Hana on Maui

Etymology[edit]

From Hawaiian heiau.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

heiau (plural heiaus or heiau)

  1. (Hawaii) A temple in traditional Hawaiian society.
    • 2004, Richard Fortey, The Earth, Folio Society 2011, p. 52:
      The basalt was also piled to outline large squares in the ceremonial centres known as heiaus.
    • 2012, Julia Flynn Siler, Lost Kingdom, Grove Press 2012, p. xix:
      They'd order lawbreakers put to death in fearsome ritualized killings that took place in a heiau, accompanied by beating drums and chants.