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coconut island

Coconut Island, or Moku Ola is a small island in Hilo Bay, just offshore from Lili’uokalani Park and Gardens, in Hilo, off the island of Hawaii. It is a small park, and is connected to the main island via a footbridge. The island includes a large grassy field, picnic areas, restroom facilities, and a few tiny sandy beaches.  The name Mokuola translates as “healing island” or “island of life” from the Hawaiian language. Moku meaning island and ola meaning life. It was the site of an ancient temple dedicated to healing.   It is located off Banyan Drive.

Legend tells that anyone who was sick or feeling ill would be healed by swimming around Moku Ola three times. In ancient times, Moku Ola was a pu’uhonua (place of refuge), where natives or warriors could ‘redeem’ themselves. Many native Hawaiians would also bury their children’s piko (umbilical cords) under the flat rocks here, so the rats would not find them (piko are often considered sacred to Hawaiians, as they are the connection to their mothers and to their blood lines)

Ancient Hawaiian legend tells us that the demi-god, Maui, had a magic fishhook and a canoe that could take him to a neighbor island with two sweeps of his paddle. Maui felt sorry for Hawaiians who didnt have a magic canoe like his, and told a number of chiefs they could travel throughout Hawaii quickly if they followed him. Maui told the chiefs to paddle toward the ocean, without looking back, until the islands connected. Maui fastened his magic fishhook into the island of Maui and the men paddled feverishly. The island of Maui slowly moved closer, but just as it was to be joined with the Big Island, one of the paddling chiefs turned to look back. The magic spell was then broken and the island slid back, leaving a piece of land fastened to the magic fishhook, still caught on the Big Island.

coco island

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