Blog: A taste of what you may find on Maui

Maui history lessons!

This morning we checked out the Bailey House Museum in Wailuku. All these years of coming to Maui on vacation and then living on Maui, and we had never been here. My son has a research project he’s working on, so we thought we’d look to see if we could find some information here. And we did! This would be a great rain-day activity, I’d say!

The Bailey House is officially recognized on both the national and Hawai’i historic place registers. Though small, it has some interesting displays about Maui’s history, both ‘pre contact’ and ‘post White contact’. Do check it out – admission is very reasonable, only $7/adult, $2/kids.

a “Pohaku Puka”

I was particularly intrigued with this artifact….
It is called a Pohaku Puka – a ‘door stone’. Here is the museum’s explanation of its use (copied from the museum’s label).

‘This stone was used as a means of protecting against housebreaking. Hawaiian houses, called hale, were made of a light framework of wooden poles covered with thatching. The entrance to the hale was about 3 feet in height which required one to enter on hands and knees. The doorway was closed at night by placing a lauhala mat across the opening.

‘If the occupant wished to make his hale more secure, he would use the device called the “pohaku puka”. This pointed stone was suspended directly over the entrance and connected to a cord stretched across the opening. An intruder who tripped the cord would be dealt a serious, if not fatal blow by the falling stone. (artifact 91-196-0 #0292)

So…. an old-time security system! Neat!