To live on the Big Island is to live surrounded by mysteries—from the past, the present and even the future. Take petroglyphs. Who made them? When? Why?
Petroglyphs are interpreted to have recorded travel around the island of Hawai`i, express consideration for human longevity and well being, communicate events current and past, as well as mark boundaries and trails. - National Park Service
In a tour yesterday we were told that 3 dots for a head indicates a top ruler (ali’i), 2 dots is a secondary ali’i, a single dot (head) is a commoner. We were told that early Polynesians were over 7’ tall, that the statue of King Kamehameha in Kapa’au is life-size, that the Polynesian canoes were 300’ long. We were told that the lightest carvings (made with rock, not metal) date back to 200 AD. That a figure with an oar raised overhead was the winner of a race. That clusters of figures represented families, or bounty hunters chasing those who had committed kapu to the Place of Refuge.