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Ha’amonga ‘a Maui Trilithon

TIME : 2016/2/19 14:11:31

The South Pacific’s equivalent of Stonehenge, the Ha’amonga ‘a Maui (Maui’s Burden) trilithon near Niutoua, is one of ancient Polynesia’s most intriguing monuments. Archaeologists and oral history credit its construction to Tu’itatui, the 11th Tu’i Tonga. The structure consists of three large coralline stones, each weighing about 40 tonnes, arranged into a trilithic gate.

A walking track winds northward past several langi (tombs; known as the Langi Heketa), including ‘Esi Makafakinanga , supposedly Tu’itatui’s backrest. Such chiefly backrests were common in Polynesia, and apparently Tu’itatui used this one as a shield against attack from behind while he watched construction.

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