Waimea Bay, Oahu, Hawaii — Offerings including pineapple, apples, and flowers are left on the oracle tower at Pu’u o Mahuka Heiau State Historic Site on Oahu’s North Shore overlooking Waimea Bay and Waimea Valley. A heiau is a religious site or temple, and Pu’u o Mahuka Heiau (the name means “hill of escape”) may have been constructed in the 1600s.

According to the Hawaii State Parks brochure, a lananu’u mamao or ‘anu’u tower was an oracle “where religious services were conducted and the gods spoke to the kahuna and high ali’i. The structure often measured 20 feet or more in height and was a pole frame covered with kapa.”

The Wikipedia entry for Pu’u o Mahuka Heiau State Monument notes that “In 1792, George Vancouver’s ship, HMS Daedalus, anchored near Waimea Bay to collect water. Three men in his shore party were killed in a skirmish with Native Hawaiians, and may have been taken to the heiau as human sacrifices.”

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