Ha‘amonga ‘a Maui – Niutoua, Tonga - Atlas Obscura

Ha‘amonga ‘a Maui

Niutoua, Tonga

A massive trilithon nicknamed "Stonehenge of the Pacific." 


A strange trilithon—consisting of two standing stones with a lintel on top—on the island of Tongatapu, Ha‘amonga ‘a Maui stands about 17 feet tall and is 19 feet long. Each coral limestone slab weighs approximately 30 to 40 tons. Because of its clear resemblance, it has been nicknamed the “Stonehenge of the Pacific.”

The name means “Maui’s Burden” in the local language, and as the stones are too heavy for humans to handle, it is believed that the god Maui himself brought them from ‘Uvea (Wallis Island) and constructed the monument. They now reside in a small roadside nature reserve. 

Archaeologists, on the other hand, generally seem to believe that the Ha‘amonga was built by an early 13th-century king as the gateway to his royal palace, Heketā. Otherwise, it has been suggested, it might have been used for astrological purposes. These theories are unconfirmed, however, and the origin of the huge trilithon remains a mystery. 

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