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In ancient times, the Ali’i competed with each other in the sport of Holua, or sledding. A long, steep, trackway paved with stones would be constructed downslope and then covered with tamped dirt and topped with dried grass. The Ali’i would race down these tracks on wooden sleds, or “holua” as competition. These races were very dangerous and only the Ali’i were allowed to compete. This particular holua is unique because, not only is it the largest and longest and best preserved in Hawai’i, but also because when constructed it went all the way into the sea at Keauhou Bay.

Despite this important archeological site being a National Historic Landmark, much of it was bulldozed by developers building resorts and a golf course.

The nearby village of Holualoa is named after this sledway; “holua” meaning “sled” and “loa” meaning “long”.

The Historic Landmark is best viewed from Ali’i Drive, directly across from the Kona Country Club parking lot. No facilities.

For more information on exploring the Big Island of Hawaii in general, and the ancient villages and temples of Kona in particular, visit: www.tourguidehawaii.com and www.tourguidehawaii.blogspot.com.

Produced by Donald MacGowan.

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