Terry Taube completed a major public sculpture, "Turtle Eyeland," which
sits majestically at the Kona Coast Shopping Center in the
heart of Kailua-Kona on Hawaii's Big Island. "Turtle
Eyeland" is one of several public installations that
Terry has created, and in his words, it is the full-circle
piece in his life.
The sculpture is made up of five turtles, called honu
in Hawaiian. The turtle first walked on the earth some
230 million years ago. Its roundish shell introduced us
to the circle. The five vertebral patches, or scutes,
that make up the spinal portion of a turtle's shell remind
us of the world's five elements - wood, fire, earth, metal
The table that makes up the platform where the turtles
swim resembles a grass skirt, honoring Hawaii's most sacred
spirited dance, the hula, and giving the impression that
the turtles are not just swimming, but dancing through
time. The sea that the turtles swim in, the blue pearl,
Earth, called honua in Hawaiian.
The pole in the center of the sculpture resembles a Pacific
palm tree and represents the tree of life. The three manta
rays swimming at the top of the tree allude to the three
phases of time - the past, present and future. The mantas
are small, medium and large, representing three generations,
all woven in the fabric of time. The majestic manta ray,
at 400 million years old, so ancient that it is futuristic,
is a tribute to the past.
"Turtle Eyeland" is in its most perfect place
on earth - just above Kamakahonu, the small sandy beach
the 'Ahu'ena Heiau near King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel
and Kailua Bay. Kamakahonu, translated as "The Eye
of the Turtle," is one of the most important spiritual
sites in all the Hawaiian Islands.
"I spent a lot of time thinking about this sculpture
before I created it and while I was working on it, but
discovered what it all meant after the sculpture was finished."
The currents of time's great circle and great rotation, inspired
by the gift of it,
We stand on the back of it Honua (Earth).
Here only a hearts beat away from the hottest spot on Earth.
While grandmother moon sets the rhythm of our hearts beat the ebb
and flow of life's
We are here at two waters (Kailua), just moments above the beach,
And the sands of Kamaka Honu (eye of the turtle).
In a deeper sense the waters of birth and rebirth coming and going
through the eye of
time, the great cosmology of creation.
The medicine wheel of time, peace and mind, the dream catcher.
Manta rays, perhaps the first to fly on earth for 400 million years
the Hahalua have flown
in a celestial sea in search of our mothers milky way, a breast of
For at least 230 million years the turtle has walked on Honua.
The oldest eggs ever found are sea turtles 120 million years old.
Time gave us the turtle, turtle gave us time.
It is our hearts that beat time.
Our eyes flash.
In its instance on the face of the Great slide, the great
rule of time and gravity.
Kindness and wisdom pacificlee.
Peace and calm here in the heart of pearl, the heart of Kona.
This is a reminder of the loving embrace, everyray of every Honua
Time honors peace.
Peace honors time.
Words & sculpture shaped by Terry Taube