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United States - Lana'i

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Sweetheart Rock (Pu'u Pehe)

Lanai City, HI, United States

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20.734104, -156.889973

Overview of Sweetheart Rock (Pu'u Pehe)

Located on the southern coast of Lanai is picturesque Hulopoe Bay and Lanai's main boat harbor, Manele Bay. A closer look at this picturesque sea stack reveals, indeed, a tomb-like structure resting at the summit. Archeologists who have studied the rock will tell you that there are no human remains in this tomb.

An ancient legend tells of two lovers, a young warrior from Lanai named Makakehau and a beautiful Hawaiian girl named Puupehe from Lahaina on the island of Maui. The young warrior loved the pretty girl so much that whenever he looked at her, his eyes would mist up with tears. Hence his name Maka (eyes) and Kehau (mist).

Makakehau brought Puupehe with him to live on Lanai and hid her in a sea cave at the base of a cliff because he was afraid to lose her. One day as he was out gathering supplies, he noticed a storm brewing and headed back to the cave. There he found his Puupehe drowned by the surge of the storm waves.

He was so stricken with grief that he took his girl in his arms and cried out to the gods and his ancestors to help him climb up the steep cliff of the little rock island, where he buried her. He then jumped to his death in the powerful surf and sharp rocks below.

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