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 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 http://huimalama.tripod.com/index.html
I fully support them.