It is said that the 11th Tu’i Tonga, Tu’itatui, built the trilithon about 1200AD whilst in power. There are many theories about this construction. It is believed that it was used as a gateway to his Royal Compound, Heketā. The two upright stones are said to have represented his two sons, Lafa and Talaiha’apepe, with the lintel uniting the columns symbolizing the bonds of brotherhood. The Tu’i Tonga was concerned his two sons might quarrel after his death and erected the monument as a reminder to stay united. It was they who decided to move the centre of government to Lapaha in Mu’a (third capital). It is also said that they preferred a more calm anchorage site for their great double hulled canoes which were the most common means of transportation for long distance voyages in those days, and Lapaha offered the ideal site.
Tonga | eastern part of the island of Tongatapu
How far back?
2020 | Present