For my family and friends ™ (haolegirl) wrote,
For my family and friends ™

On Hawaiians

I am a little disappointed in this writer since he focuses on the "LACK" of Hawaiians. What about the good things like how Hawaiians are speaking up? I don't see it as us lacking a leader or leaders. Also each of us are leaders. There is nothing wrong with that either because all Hawaiians descend from a chief. After reading this letter... it left me a little confused because I see lots of leaders in our community but he is still entitled to his mana o. I just don't agree with his statement about the lack of leadership.

For example he mentions "maha oi." To be "maha oi" can mean "to be rude." If a Hawaiian were to act aggressively like a leader then that would be considered maha oi. Then again if we do not speak up as he asserts that there is no leadership then we are nothing? It's a Catch 22. That is... if we speak up louder then we are not haa haa or "humble." If we speak up and take control over other Hawaiians that's maha oi. What is a Hawaiian to do????

Anyway here is the letter:


The Forbes case highlights several problems in the Hawaiian community:

  • The lack of involvement/interest. Tutu's first lesson to us mo'opuna (grandchildren) was, "no maha'oi (nosy) other's kuleana (business) and no maha'oi their things, otherwise your hand will become pepe'e (twisted)."

  • Involvement is not maha'oi because a claimant says the artifacts belong to all Hawaiians. And, the final court decision will be "precedent setting."

  • Personal attacks of renowned Hawaiians on both sides cause long-term hard feelings, disunity among the Hawaiian community, fear of verbal reprisal for speaking up and cultural confusion.

  • Attacks on a diligent Western judge, tasked to hear the case, is shameful. It is also shameful on our part for seeking Western law, attending the hearing, voicing our discontent and not selecting our own facilitator for ho'oponopono.

  • We lack a Hawaiian consensus definition of a valid NAGPRA claimant, claimant prioritization and an organization to assume responsibility if no claimants are identified.

  • A lack of inclusion as we get more akamai. We send the 'opio (youth) to college, and it is time to use their knowledge with kupuna wisdom to identify 'ohana to iwi, burial beliefs and solutions to our problems.

  • A lack of responsibility to our 'opio and keiki. A claimant stated that the artifacts must be preserved and future Hawaiian generations should decide if they are funerary or cultural objects. It is the kupuna (grandparents) and makua (parents) responsibility to teach cultural values and social behavior.

Although these problems will impact the sovereignty issue, the final problem, lack of leadership, has the biggest effect. We need leaders whose innate leadership traits, coupled with learned and cultivated traits, are entirely used for the betterment of the Hawaiian people. They will need knowledgeable advisers willing to be devil's advocates.

John Fox
Nuhi 'Ohana

Seen at

Tags: forbes caves, hawaiians, john fox, letters to the editor

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