Solar Nadirs in Pre-Contact Hawaiian Cultural Astronomy
Keywords:astronomy, Hawai’i, Kukaniloko, pre-contact, solar nadir
Pre-contact Hawaiian cultural astronomy, including the major stations of the Sun, remains understudied. K?kaniloko, on the island of O'ahu in the Hawaiian Islands, is recognised as the piko, the navel, of the island - that is, not only the geographical centre, but also culturally the centre. The island's geography includes features that serve as landscape markers for the rise and set of the Sun at the Sun stations and for the rise and set of stars which centre on K?kaniloko. The site thus offers a window into pre-European-contact Hawaiian astronomy and shows the attention paid to the eight tropical Sun stations. This paper considers least-known of these stations, the solar nadir, and the resulting cultural functions from the point of view of K?kaniloko.
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