December 29th, 2005


We have the right to remain silent... as well as the right to Oni pa a.

We have the right to remain silent. Unfortunately Hawaiians live in a parallel world where citizenship with the United States was forced upon us. Me personally... I am a dual citizen: Of the U.S. and of the Kingdom of Hawaii. This means that we have many many rights. One of them is that we have the right to remain silent under U.S. law as well as the right to oni pa a or... "to stand firm in what you believe in." Thus this story about a Hawaiian man, Edward Halealoha Ayau, who has a right to remain silent and not say or do anything that will be used against him in the court of law. Then again... he already knows that and I think his actions are setting a precedence and will push the envelope in terms of how the U.S. government treats Hawaiians. Fortunately MSNBC covered it which I found surprising but it's about damn time! LOL

Also each and every Hawaiian has civil rights which seems to be lost in Suganuma and Kawananakoa's claims. They have rights too... and so does Eddie Ayau. Anyway here is another story by a national medium, MSNBC:

"We did the honorable thing:"

Hawaiian man jailed after refusing to reveal location of missing artifacts

HONOLULU - A federal judge on Tuesday found four leaders of a Hawaiian group in contempt of court for refusing to disclose where they buried native Hawaiian artifacts borrowed from a museum.

Edward Halealoha Ayau, executive director of a group dedicated to the proper treatment of ancestral remains, was taken into federal custody after refusing the judge’s order to reveal the exact location of the 83 artifacts borrowed from the Bishop Museum.

“We did the honorable thing,” Ayau told Chief U.S. District Judge David Ezra.

The judge ordered Ayau to be held until he or others return the ancient objects or come forward with their location. Board members William Aila, Pualani Kanahele and Antoinette Freitas also were found in contempt but not jailed. All four belong to the group known as Hui Malama I Na Kupuna O Hawaii Nei.

The group has told the court that the items — including a human-hair wig, containers with human teeth and carved wooden statuettes of family gods — have been buried and sealed. But Ezra said Tuesday the court needs a more precise location to better preserve and protect the artifacts.

Group members allege the artifacts were looted from a cave by an archaeologist in 1905 and illegally sold to the museum. The group argued that it has simply put the items back where they belong, but 13 other groups also claim ownership of the objects.

Sherry Broder, an attorney for the groups Na Lei Alii Kawananakoa and the Royal Hawaiian Academy of Traditional Arts, which sued for the objects’ return, said Ezra already had bent over backward to accommodate members of Hui Malama.

Emotions high at hearing

Hui Malama’s supporters shouted and wept as the hearing closed, and Ezra ordered everyone but reporters to leave.

The judge ordered a man named Kihei Nahalea to spend five days in jail for contempt of court for shouting out as he left the courtroom. A crowd then gathered just outside the courtroom and began wailing plaintive Hawaiian chants.


It's great when someone stands up for what they believe in. He really epitomizes the Hawaiian word, "Oni pa a," which can mean "Stand firm in what you believe in." I like that characteristic and I like that about Eddie Ayau. I give him my vote of confidence and I predict that he will exercise his right to remain silent. And as much as I do not like how our government (U.S. government) mistreats Hawaiians I still love what this country stands for (i.e. life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness) and what the constitution guarantees to us. For that... I am grateful but still... Eddie Ayau has rights too. Just saying for the 10th time or so....


Background information

Key points:

1. Princess Abigail Kawananakoa, a plaintiff, is a relative of Kamehameha. Thus she has roots on the Big Island where Kamehameha is from.

2. One of her ancestors, Kamehameha, fought with other Hawaiians just as she is fighting with other Hawaiians.

3. Eddie Ayau, the executive director of Hui Malama, is presently in federal custody. He too is from the Big Island.

4. Hawaiians fought with each other... then and now.

These are key.

Today at there is a story about this case:

Hawaiian artifacts, including a funerary bowl studded with human teeth, are at the center of a legal battle.

What would the ancestors want? A suit over Hawaiian artifacts could decide

When an explorer named David Forbes dug up ancient artifacts from a Hawaiian cave 100 years ago and sold them to a Honolulu museum, was it an act of grave robbing, or was he guided by the spiritual wishes of the dead?

That is the deeper question underlying a federal suit funded by a Hawaiian princess and filed against a native Hawaiian organization that reburied the collection of artifacts five years ago in the same Big Island cave where they were first unearthed in 1905.

"It was there for three or 400 years before Mr. Forbes stole it. It's supposed to deteriorate in the burial tomb. That's what it does," said Rev. Charles Kauluwehi Maxwell, president of the board of directors of Hui Malama I Na Kupuna O Hawaii Nei, a native organization that believes the cultural relics should stay in their sacred resting place. "It was not meant for us. For us, we feel it's very bad luck to even touch those items."

But another group, the Royal Academy of Traditional Arts, wants the items retrieved from the cave so that the process of "repatriation," or returning the items to their rightful owners, can continue. Ultimately, they'd like to see the items put on display in a Hawaiian-owned museum "for the people of the world to view."

"I believe, and anybody who thinks in a Hawaiian fashion would know this, I believe the ancestors allowed the items to be discovered," said La'akea Suganuma, the academy's president.

He is suing Hui Malama along with Na Lei Alii Kawananakoa, a group founded by Abigail Kawananakoa, an heiress and royal Hawaiian who is footing the legal bill.

They say Hui Malama has violated the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) as well as Fifth Amendment property rights laws.

Earlier this month, a federal judge sided with Suganuma and his royal co-plaintiff, and ordered Hui Malama to dig up and return the items by Sept. 23 to the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum in Honolulu.

Hui Malama filed an emergency appeal, and a stay was granted by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, allowing the ancient remains to stay in their cavernous tomb until the appeals court makes a final decision.

But instead of taking years for the appeals process, which is typical, the court has fast-tracked the case and will make a decision in December.

Some of the items in dispute include funerary pieces, such as a wig made of human hair, a bowl embedded with human teeth, and carved gods that Hui Malama believes were meant to accompany the dead for eternity.

"It is very similar to putting a ring on your grandmother when she dies — jewelry to accompany her into eternity — and then 200, 300 years down the line, someone discovers the objects and takes them off her body," Maxwell said.

He and his attorney claim that when Forbes sold the stolen items to the Bishop Museum in 1905, they agreed to keep the illegal sale "under wraps," according to their correspondence.

Hui Malama was formed in 1988 on the heels of a dispute between native Hawaiians and the builders of a Ritz Carlton hotel, which was planned on a burial site.

The hotel was eventually constructed inland, away from the ancestral grounds.

In 1990, Congress enacted NAGPRA, which requires museums and federal agencies to return certain Native American, Hawaiian and Alaskan artifacts to the descendants or organizations to which they belong.

The act gave Hui Malama legal standing to care for and protect na iwi kupuna, or "ancestral remains."

Since then, the group has repatriated and reinterred artifacts returned from more than two dozen museums, including the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., and the Field Museum in Chicago.

The Bishop Museum loaned the 83 items from the Kawaihae caves collection to Hui Malama in February 2000.

Under NAGPRA guidelines, 13 native Hawaiian organizations were found to be culturally affiliated with the items, some after the items had already been reburied.

The museum has since asked for the items to be returned and for the repatriation process to continue.

"They've recognized the so-called princess as a claimant ... unilaterally deciding the repatriation process has to be reopened and renewed, despite two published notices that it is complete," said attorney Alan Murakami of the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation.

The museum did not return calls for comment.

A NAGPRA review committee also determined that the repatriation process the museum followed was "flawed and remains incomplete." NAGPRA advised the museum to recall its so-called loan, reopen the process and reconsult with all interested parties. The NAGPRA program office did not return calls for comment.

If the appeals court finds that Hui Malama must return the objects, it would mean digging up the buried items from their secret resting place.

"We won't do it. We'll defy the court's order," Maxwell said, adding that he was prepared to defy the Sept. 23 deadline before the stay was granted. "I gathered my family a week ago and told them I might be arrested. I'm 68 years old, and I'm in a wheelchair, but I would be willing to sacrifice myself for my culture."

His attorney contends that forcing the group to dig up the items would be "totally against their fundamental religious cultural beliefs," and a violation of their First Amendment rights.

Not to mention, it could be dangerous.

The cave has been sealed and reinforced to protect against future theft, according to Maxwell.

"The cave is very unstable. If you move one rock, the entire cave could collapse," he said.

Suganuma claims he has offered to retrieve the items himself, but will leave the matter up to the courts. He believes the outcome is not really in his hands, but is being guided by a higher authority.

"What I want to see is the wishes of the ancestors," Suganuma said. "What will be will be — all in its own timing."


Therefore, I do not blame Suganuma nor Kawananakoa for suing Hui Malama. They have a right to do so. However Ayau has rights too. In addition while it is very unfortunate that Haole law and Haole people are involved sometimes it is necessary since it's a reality that Hawaii is the 50th state albeit illegally. In any case, Hawaiians fought with each other then... and now. So did Kamehameha. Kamehameha fought with other Hawaiians too yet if he did not... he would never have united the Hawaiian Islands and by 1819 the Kingdom of Hawaii was born. I hope that other Hawaiians remember this key point about who we are and about our history.

For Hawaiians:

Umia ka hanu!


About Hui Malama I Na Kupuna O Hawai`i Nei which can mean "Group Caring For the Ancestors of Hawaii"

Reposted here under Fair Use under American law and for educational purposes only and under freedom of speech under Kingdom of Hawaii law:

Photo of protestors courtesy of the Honolulu Advertiser:

Hui malama:


Hui Malama I Na Kupuna O Hawai`i Nei (Group Caring For the Ancestors of Hawai`i) is a Native Hawaiian Organization dedicated to the proper treatment of ancestral Native Hawaiians. Hui Malama I Na Kupuna O Hawai`i Nei was born December 1988 from the kaumaha (heaviness) and aokanaka (enlightenment) caused by the archaeological disinterment of over 1,100 ancestral Native Hawaiians from Honokahua, Maui. The ancestral remains were removed over the protests of the Native Hawaiian community in order to build the Ritz Carlton Hotel. The desecration was stopped following a 24-hour vigil at the State Capital. Governor John Waihe`e, a Native Hawaiian, approved of a settlement that returned the ancestral remains to their one hanau (birth sands), set aside the reburial site in perpetuity, and moved the hotel inland and away from the ancestral resting place. Ironically, Native Hawaiians fighting the approval of the Ritz Carlton Hotel project advocated for the hotel to be moved away from the ancestral burial site to begin with.

Today, stone memorials and plaques mark the location of the reinterment site, a chilly reminder of the pain, anguish, and shame that could have been avoided if State and County officials and the private landowner/developer had only listened to those who demanded the the hotel not be built, or at least moved away from the Honokahua families.

In one sense Honokahua represents balance, for from this tragedy came enlightment: the realization by living Native Hawaiians that we were ultimately responsible for the care and protection of our ancestors and that cultural protocols needed to be relearned and laws effectively changed to create the empowerment necessary to carry out this important and time honored responsibility to malama (take care) and kupale (protect) our ancestors.

Hui Malama I Na Kupuna O Hawai`i Nei members have trained under the direction of Edward and Pualani Kanahele of Hilo in traditional protocols relating to care of na iwi kupuna (ancestral remains). These commitments were undertaken as a form of aloha and respect for our own families, our ancestors, our parents, and our children.

Hui Malama I Na Kupuna O Hawai`i Nei has been taught by the Kanahele family about the importance of pule (prayer) necessary to ho`olohe (listen) to the calling of our ancestors. Through pule we request the assistance of ke akua and our ancestors to provide us the tools necessary to conduct our work:

E homai ka ike, e homai ka ikaika, e homai ka akamai, e homai ka maopopo pono, e homai ka `ike papalua, e homai ka mana.

"Grant us knowledge, grant us strength, grant us intelligence, grant us righteous understanding, grant us visions and avenues of communication, grant us mana."

Moreover, we have been taught that the relationship between our ancestors and ourselves is one of interdependence- as the living, we have a kuleana (responsibility) to care for our kupuna (ancestors). In turn, our ancestors respond by protecting us on the spiritual side. Hence, one side cannot completely exist without the other.

Beliefs And Practices:

  • Native Hawaiians possess mana which resides in certain parts of their bodies, especially na iwi (bones).
  • Mana and spiritual contact with our gods and ancestors cannot be separated.
  • Proper treatments for our kupuna is essential for maintaining our spiritual health and overall well being because they exist in us.
  • We are nourished through our cultural and religious beliefs and practices while struggling to exist in modern Hawai`i.
  • Foremostly, ancestral burials sites must be left in place and undisturbed.
  • Regarding burial treatment, we defer to the wishes of identified lineal descendants and the `ohana (family).
  • Our actions relating to care and protection of the kupuna are governed by pono (righteousness).
  • We stringently object to the unnecessary handling of ancestral Native Hawaiian remains, especially physical examination, any form of destructive analysis, and photographs without the consent of lineal descendants and the `ohana.
  • We advocate for tougher laws protective of ancestral burial sites and their contents from economic, archaeological, and anthropological exploitation.
  • We stand by to assist Native Hawaiian families wishing to take responsibility for the care and protection of ancestral remains and burial sites.
  • We will set an example for our children such that when our time comes, we will know our bones will be protected
  • Our work to repatriate and reinter ancestral Native Hawaiians is intended to restore the responsibilities of caring for our families; it is our gift of aloha to these ancestors and their `ohana and intended to strengthen the foundation of the Hawaiian Nation.


  • Provide ancestral and living Native Hawaiians with traditional interment and reinterment services.
  • Provide cultural and legal oversight of Federal, State, and County laws affecting Native Hawaiian burial sites, skeletal remains, and burial goods.
  • Help nourish the overall growth of traditional Native Hawaiian cultural beliefs and practices so as to plant the seeds for our future.
  • Repatriate all ancestral Native Hawaiian remains, burial objects, sacred objects, and cultural patrimony.

From their website at

I fully support them.

PLEASE contact your senator(s) and ask them to intervene and release Edward Halealoha Ayau from federal custody:


"What have you done to protect the iwi? The oiwi? Anything?"

Excerpts of a discussion where some people bash Hui Malama yet I bet they no do much to protect the iwi and/or the oiwi if at all:

Person A: So, what did Hui Malama spend a million dollars on in 2003? Or $148k in 2002 or $178k in 2001? They and Charlie Maxwell are clearly about money. The Native Hawaiian Legal Corp has defended many good causes over the years. They are being used by Hui Malama.

Person B: No maxwell and some of the others are in it for themselves $$$ they would fight for what they say is there kupuna but they wont fight for there Nation.

Its a reason why the state bird is the nene and not the ostrich. These guys got there heads buried in the sand so to speak.

Person C: I believe that the people of hui malama are audacious in believing that they and only they know what the right thing to do is.

Other Claimants are not without their own manao and may have been more open to hui malama had they not decided to shove their view down our throats.

It is not so much that they are wrong; as they are arogant. I do not want the moepu to be displayed as I do not want George Washington's grave to be dug up and the remians and moepu displayed.

Absolutes are not open to other reasonable views of religion.

How shame that Hawaiians can not get together and solve their problems and become a nation unto one. Money, power and fame are evils of the the other side, not the hawaiians.

Me: Well Hawaiians from the Big Island are known to fight with each other. Kamehameha comes to mind. Secondly I fully support Hui Malama I Na Kupuna O Hawaii Nei but I realize how much easier it is to criticize those people who try to protect the iwi and thus the oiwi while sitting at home watching TV and/or drinking at Starbucks while people like Ayau are trying to protect the iwi. I love it when people bitch about that considering that when they do what they do they are protecting the iwi that ALL Hawaiians share. How you like dat one. Now THAT is not pono... to be unappreciative.

What have YOU done to protect the iwi? The oiwi?


I didn't think so....

In any case in my opinion... just as Suganuma and Kawananakoa have the right to sue Hui Malama... Eddie Ayau has rights too.

I take this as a sign from my kupuna.