On the upper west side of Maui, Black Rock is the natural lava formation that divides Kaanapali Beach in half. Because the rock is encrusted with coral and algae, a vast population of tropical fish call it home, and it's a celebrated snorkeling and diving spot. While the sun shines, the area is alive with all the standard water activities, and it's an ideal spot for a fun-filled day at the beach.
In Hawaiian legend, it's said that brave warriors leapt off these rocky cliffs, in order to free their souls from the bounds of Earth and enable them to soar upwards to meet God and their revered ancestors.
Now, each evening, as the sun sets behind neighboring Lanai, the wail of a conch shell and the sound of chanting signals the arrival of a lone, torch-carrying man. He swiftly makes his way up Black Rock, lighting the tiki torches along the way to honor all those departed spirits.
At the top, when the final torch is lit, he raises his arms in a salute to the Earth, the sky, the sea, and all those warriors who went before him, and then plunges dramatically into the crashing surf below.
Here, the majesty of the spectacle has been captured by the brushstrokes of artist Richard Fields.
Lahaina Printsellers custom-prints this image on waterproof canvas in our Lahaina studio using only the finest archival inks, which are tested and guaranteed not to fade or shift under normal circumstances for over 100 years.