Located along the Hā‘upu ridge, the Keolewa Heiau is dedicated to Laka, the goddess of hula. Laka's kinolau (embodied form) is said to live amongst wild and sacred plants of the forest used by hula participants. The heiau and forest surrounding the area are known by the word "Keolewa" which has appeared in prayers, oral traditions, and chants.
The mountain itself, Hā‘upu, receives its name from a Hawaiian phrase meaning sudden recollection. The mountain and the ridge are known for bringing about memories or clarity into the future. Hā‘upu is also known as being the meeting place between the lovers Pele, a fire goddess, and Kamapua‘a, a demi-god.
The dryer, more rocky side of the ridge is believed to be inhabited by Pele, matching her personality. The more lush side of the ridge is attributed to Kamapua‘a, a demi-god associated with fertility. When a drought occurs on the lush side or a heavy rain descends on the dryer, this is believed to be a continuation of the lover's involvement.
Explore The Keolewa Heiau during your stay in our luxury Poipu vacation rentals to experience the rich culture of Poipu.