Western Cardinal Direction Marker

Western Cardinal Direction Marker

Pause and Listen

West Cardinal Direction Rock

West Cardinal Direction Rock

Kasota Stone

Kasota Stone

About

An explanation of the origin of this very important Marker Rock from Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island of Hawai’i.

Western Cardinal Direction Rock

An Audio Transcript

An ancient Native Hawaiian saying is "He Ola Ka Pohaku." It means, "There is life in the stones."

The Western Cardinal Direction Marker Rock is the youngest rock on the Museum site. It's only 300 years old. It is a lava stone from Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island of Hawai'i. Native Hawaiians believe that stones – or "pohaku" in the Native Hawaiian language -- are alive. This stone is the body and living spirit of the volcano goddess Pele. A special ceremony was held by Hawai'ian kupuna, or elders, to remove the stone from its original home at Kilauea Volcano. The western rock, which was given a special name during a naming ceremony, is "Kane Po," meaning "light and dark." The Museum has agreed to return this stone after 20 years and get another one to take its place. Local Native Hawaiians can point out stones in their communities that have long histories and special purposes, for example, to aid in birthing, to guard a specific location, or to mark the seasons. Many of them have personal names and are considered sacred. Sometimes stones 'adopt' a human caretaker or a "kahu," and bring that "kahu" good luck in the forms of health, fertility, and even wealth. However, a stone also can bring bad luck, even death, if it is angered in some way or if it is removed from its original home.

Kasota Stone

The Museum's exterior is Kasota limestone from
Minnesota. The Kasota stone suggests a stratified stone mass that has been
carved by wind and water.

Duane Blue Spruce.

"I think there's about 50,000 pieces of cut stone on
the exterior of the building. And some of those are quite large at the base of
the building there's roughback stones and those were considerably challenging
in terms of the masons placing such large pieces of stone."

See if you can pick out the three different textures
of the Kasota limestone. This limestone is well known for its warm golden
color. It will retain this color
throughout time.