Ha'amonga Travel Guide

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Ha'amonga 'a Maui -- is an ancient trilathon at "Nuitoua" 32 km from Nuka'alofa. The name translated, "Burden of God Mau." Two upright pillars of coral support a central lintel weighing more than 8900 kilos. Thought to be the gateway to an old royal compound..., the arch now forms the entrance to recently created archeological reserve. Nearby is a large upright slab, said the be the backrest of the Tui'itatui who reigned about 1200 AD.

The real purpose of the Ha'amonga has created much speculation. It has been linked to a gateway to a royal compound or to Stonehenge in England. H.M. King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV, in May 1967 presented a unique explanation as to the purpose of the slabs of stone. In the months that followed the king's theory was tested. His Majesty felt the "V" notch on the top of the lintel was used as a marker in ancient lunar observations; particularly to establish the beginning of the lunar "New Year." Observations made on the shortest day aligned correctly with the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn. Therefore confirming the "V" notch indeed marks the position of the rising of the sun on the shortest and longest day of the year. H.M. King Taufa'ahau Tupou on 13th May 1972 declared "Ha'amonga", a National Parks protected area.

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