Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Enough ... the seige upon Mauna Kea

Kū ha’aheo e ku’u Hawai’i
Stand tall my Hawai’i
Mamaka kaua o ku’u ‘āina
Band of warriors of my land
‘O ke ehu kakahiaka o nā ‘ōiwi o Hawai’i nei
The new dawn for our people of Hawai’i is upon us

No ku’u lahui e hā’awi pau a i ola mau
For my nation I give my all so that our legacy lives on

Composed by Kumu Hina, this is the chant being offered into the piko (Mauna Kea) by the peaceful protesters at the summit of Hawaii Island. Hawaiian communities here in Washington state are gathering to show support. Mahalo to the winds of the Internet and Facebook for the message. We will add our voice of support from our place on Whidbey Moku, in the Salish Sea.

What is the story? 

The recent protests and arrests during the last few days are the lastest, but not the first declarations of protest on the part of Kanaka. The issue is an old one, and as one of our respected kupuna predicted,"Years ago at a hearing, professor and cultural expert Pualani Kanakaole Kanahele wondered aloud if the Mauna Kea fight would eventually become "another Kahoolawe."
A new 30-meter telescope (read the background and the rationale)

What is the long-time issue?

 Mauna Kea is under seige. In 2006 Na Maka O Ka 'Aina created the documentary "Mauna Kea -- Temple Under Seige"

The synopsis of the film reads, "Although the mountain volcano Mauna Kea last erupted around 4000 years ago, it is still hot today, the center of a burning controversy over whether its summit should be used for astronomical observatories or preserved as a cultural landscape sacred to the Hawaiian people.
For five years the documentary production team Na Maka o ka ‘Aina ("the eyes of the land") captured on video the seasonal moods of Mauna Kea's unique 14,000-foot summit environment, the richly varied ecosystems that extend from sea level to alpine zone, the legends and stories that reveal the mountain's geologic and cultural history, and the political turbulence surrounding the efforts to protect the most significant temple in the islands, the mountain itself.
Mauna Kea — Temple Under Siege paints a portrait of a mountain that has become a symbol of the Hawaiian struggle for physical, cultural and political survival. The program explores conflicting forces as they play themselves out in a contemporary island society where cultures collide daily." 

What we need to learn about Mauna Kea is not only the top of the mountain, because Mauna Kea is inclusive of all, down to the base.

I think what Mauna Kea has given us is the many
different levels of life.
—Pualani Kanahele, Kumu Hula (hula master)

To read more about Mauna a Wakea and the efforts that have persisted over time to safeguard this wahi kapu (sacred place), go to this site.

Dr. Lilikala Kameelehiwa offers the historic perspective.

READ the comments. I will post updates to the current issues as they happen.


  1. Governor Ige calls for "Time Out" in response to protests ... read about it. http://www.bigislandchronicle.com/2015/04/08/commentary-mauna-kea-protectors-respond-to-governor-iges-call-for-a-mauna-kea-time-out/

  2. A new post on Big Island Chronicle re: Mauna Kea. http://www.bigislandchronicle.com/2015/04/10/letter-a-message-from-the-temple-of-lono-re-mauna-kea/

  3. Mauna Kea Hui responds to Governor Ige

  4. Joan Conrow author of Kauai Eclectric wrote about the current protests. Her approach is broader, and deeper, much like Mauna Kea. She calls on the issue from a place that prods, "Is homelessness (for the Kanaka) less an issue than Mauna Kea" The post and the comments are worth stirring into a longer-term and immediate active philosophy of living life on the Island.
    Here's the link to Kauai Eclectic: http://kauaieclectic.blogspot.com/2015/04/musings-nexus.html

  5. Big Island Chronicle is back online after a four-day crash. OHA has issued a Press Release, the Mauna Kea Hui responds with their position punctuated with "Our Kupuna Mauna Kea is not for sale [...] Read the coverage here: http://www.bigislandchronicle.com/2015/04/25/mauna-keahui-responds-to-the-office-of-hawaiian-affairs/

  6. Ian Lind has reposted "The Work of Protecting Mauna Kea". The content, and the comments provide a clear(er) picture of what's happening. The post is here: http://www.ilind.net/2015/05/08/guest-post-the-work-of-protecting-mauna-kea/

  7. Here is a link to a commentary given by Manulani Aluli Meyer, "Kapu Aloha" http://hilo.hawaii.edu/news/stories/2015/04/13/kapu-aloha/

  8. My cousin Scott lives on O'ahu and is an intern with 'Oiwi TV. We have a nice give and take back and forth email thing going on. Unexpectedly one of his recent gig's was recording La Ho'iho'i Ea. I skipped around the two hour filming and landed somewhere 1 hour into the segment. Skippy Ioane (Sudden Rush) is rapping on and singing.

    It's his commentary about MAUNA KEA which really tipped me over with laughter and right-on-ness. He's making the point that the young Hawaiian activists taking a stand and protesting at the summit 'can handle' ... He's making the point that it's their time to move the wa'a forward. Us, as Skippy describes, old fa'ts gotta step down, move over, get out of the canoe and let the young ones have their time.

    Here's the link to La Hoihoi Ea 1, from Thomas Square in Honolulu. http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/69742966

  9. Sunday, August 9, 2015 two events happened simultaneously: 1) an astronomy convention 2) a protest and march for 'Aloha 'Aina'. Here is the link from 'Ihilani Media covering those happenings. http://ililanimedia.blogspot.com/2015/08/reflections-on-astronomers-and-aloha.html


Speak from the heart