Trails of ‘A‘ā: Mobility and Social Networks within the Manukā Lavascape, Hawai‘i Island

Author(s): Nick Belluzzo

Year: 2020


This is an abstract from the session entitled "Roads, Rivers, Rails and Trails (and more): The Archaeology of Linear Historic Properties" , at the 2020 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

The environmentally-marginal Polynesian hinterland of Manukā, Hawai‘i is composed of interwoven, young, and often barren lava flows. Both historical and traditional accounts depict Manukā as an inhospitable, desolate landscape. Yet, the extant archaeology indicates an expansive use of the region in the pre-contact period, ranging from the coast to at least 4,000 feet in elevation. Movement was facilitated by a web of stone trails crossing the jagged ‘a‘ā lava flows, networking the disperse subsistence and settlement sites. These trails provide an indelible record of human movement, social networks, and novel land-use. With evidence of ritualized features, movement was not just pragmatic, but intertwined with social and religious practice. As such, understanding the innovative subsistence and settlement strategies in this Polynesian hinterland require a landscape-based approach, uniquely informed by the records of human movement along stone trails.

Cite this Record

Trails of ‘A‘ā: Mobility and Social Networks within the Manukā Lavascape, Hawai‘i Island. Nick Belluzzo. 2020 ( tDAR id: 457502)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 207