The Moʻokini Heiau is a link to the past and a bridge to the future. Stewardship of the heiau has been passed down through a single family lineage. The Moʻokini family, as direct descendants, were designated guardian-priests, Kahuna Nui, for the the site. Moʻokini genealogical chants reveal the heiau was constructed under the direction of High Priest Kumaoʻo Moʻokini and dedicated to the god Ku.
Originally, it was a “closed” heiau, reserved exclusively for Hawaiiʻian’s aliʻi nui (kings and chiefs) for fasting, prying, and in ancient times, human sacrifice. It is the birthsite of King Kamehameha The Great, born a scant 900 yards away, and is one of the most culturally, historically, and spiritually significant sites in all of the Hawaiiʻian Island.
The transformation of the heiau from the restrictive kapu (taboo) of its past into a learning center and touchstone of Hawaiʻian history was begun by Heloke Moʻokini, Kahuna Nui from 1930 to 1966. the mantle was passed to his brother, Dewey Moʻokini, assistant Chief of Police for Honolulu. In 1977, Dewey’s daughter, Leimomi Moʻokini Lum rededicated the heiau to the Children of Hawaiʻi. In a sacred ceremony, she lifted the restrictive kapu and opened Moʻokini’s history ad beauty to future generations into perpetuity. The site is preserved as it stands… free from the threat of excavation and archeological exploration.