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<b>The Waiting:</b> Ulua fishermen at dusk near South Point on the Big Island. <br>photo: Brad Goda
Vol. 13, no. 4
August/September 2010


Mystery Islands 

Story by Roland Gilmore

Photos by Dana Edmunds


None are taller than eighteen inches. Their shape—the rounded, neckless heads, the flattened facial features—is like nothing else found in Hawai‘i. Ever. That they are made of stone is itself different: Most Hawaiian ki‘i (statues) were carved from wood. In appearance, their closest relatives might be two thousand miles to the southeast, where the great Marquesan carvers created stone tiki with similar rounded lines and facial expressions, though often at more than triple the size.


Who made them is not known. Whether they represent men or gods is not known. What they were doing in an abandoned temple complex on an abandoned island is not known. They almost seem amused.


They are part of the mystery.