Aunty Pele defends Mauna Kea

Posted by Lauren Muneoka at Aug 23, 2011 09:05 PM |
A powerful letter written in support of Mauna Kea by Aunty Winifred Pele Hanoa. Printed in the August 23, 2011, edition of the Hawaii Tribune Herald.

Aunty Pele Hanoa wrote a potent letter to the editor about Mauna Kea in today’s (August 23, 2011) Tribune-Herald. This post was updated with her unedited letter on August 27th, 2011.

It is with kaumaha loa (extreme sadness) and ho'ohaka (disappointment) that I write about the Thirty Meter Telescope project. Mauna Kea is Hawaii's sacred mountain, home of Poliahu the beautiful snow goddess and Lilinoe goddess of mists. Our Native Hawaiian cultural religious beliefs and practices are still in existence and utilized. Our aumakua (personal gods and protective guardians) will be caring for our people at all times. The desecration of our sacred mountain is destroying the Hawaiian race. Hawaiians who say they are ancestors of Poliahu still support this project. They show no aloha or real connection to their culture.

Kupuna are having a difficult time understanding the viewpoint of scientists, chancellors, professors and developers who were not born and raised here. How dare they destroy historical sites, archaeological sites and burial grounds. For many years, outsiders and greed have devastated Hawaii and continue doing so. It is seldom that a situation occurs where we can have profound influence that will continue on past our short lifespan. You all want the sacred mountain nestled in a metal dome and iron structures.

The TMT is hewa (wrong), the cultural and spiritual significance of the mountain is a priceless asset to the life and culture of Hawaii's people.

Have scientists and developers not learned from the lightning strike this past June?

Are your existing telescopes still working?

This is a hoailona (sign) for you all to stop the desecration. Keep continuing your hewa and watch the effects happen before your eyes.

I would like to see the home of our sacred deities protected, because they exist here and nowhere else in the world.

As an 88-year-old kupuna I would like to thank all of you who oppose this TMT project and applaud your efforts in stopping this mess.

Winifred Pele Hanoa

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Ms Murray says:
Aug 24, 2011 05:20 AM
In response to Mr. B.:
I am not of Hawaiian ancestry, but am local Japanese of more than a few generations. The opposition to TMT come from people of many different cultures, all well educated, not sitting around lazy as you would imply, and certainly not constantly grumbling about how horrible things are. In fact, I would like you to see how much they love life. They love life and appreciate what they have so much, they are going all out to protect it. We all agree some science is good, but bad science can kill us. Running aging nuclear power plant on fault lines, very bad. A 30-meter lens on a bed of mercury, (mercury spills are common), at the top of Mauna Kea, very bad. We are trying to save Mauna Kea for our future generations, so that they can live good lives, not just surviving and succeeding in the rat race. I'm glad to be living at a time when I can see so many people in Hawaii working to learn, practice, preserve, and grow what we all consider to be the gifts of Hawaiian culture. I would like to urge you to have a discussion with those opposed to TMT, so that you might see what goodhearted people they are.
Kahana-a-keAkua says:
Aug 24, 2011 06:45 AM
 Before this goes ANY FURTHER, I need to reiterate, support and further emphasise what Aunty Pele is humbly asking the readers to consider. As Native Hawaiians SPIRITUALITY COMES FIRST. Our ancestors knew all to well, that this realm we live in is temporal and fleeting. That the True existence is outside this corporeal realm and only understood while contemplating our wailua-tapu. What about exploring our self? What about the journey inward, to best understand the nature of existence? Why must they see farther and farther out into space?

 This is the basis for the need to PREVENT THE CONSTRUCTION of the telescope on Mauna Atea. Not White mountain, but rather it's hidden meaning Vast Mountain, as the seat of the Cosmos. This is where many ancient archaeological sites remain which are as valued to the contemporary Tangata Whenua, or 'O'iwi as Stonehenge is to the western world. Would they so blithely build such a monstrosity there? But because we are merely native, they will come in and bully us. Build what ever they like. “Just ‘cause can, no mean should!”

 And then those who claim to be Maoli (which by the way is a made up word) would claim foul? Blame the overall current socio-economic disparity on your own people. How sad, that you are so completely misinformed or well conditioned by the colonizer that you would act so unjustly and lacking in compassion, NO MORE ALOHA. If you believe that this unwelcome project will profit or benefit us in any way, you are sadly mistaken. And yes, while HRM King Kalakaua did embrace technology, he did not break with tradition. He saw that it would best meet his needs and his peoples‘, while under pressure from American interests.

This will only turn out one way, just like the geo-thermal project…
Anyone remember what happen?
OH, yeah Tutu Pele when OPEN WIDE and swallow it up.

We know better as the indigenous people of Hawai‘i Island,
and are endeavouring to save lives and prevent a natural catastrophe
 of epic proportions.

Na ke Akua e malama
Mr.B says:
Aug 25, 2011 05:19 PM
Please excuse my for seemingly pinning all opposition into the stereotypical, lazy, Hawaiian. That was not the intent. What Struck a nerve with me was the assertion that it is outside influence destroying the Hawaiian culture and race. That may have been so a century ago but with all of the opportunity we have as a people dangling in front of ourselves to make the best of our lives, the responsibility falls on our shoulders to seize that opportunity. My point was simple. Like I said in the other post: do something about it. Get educated, be vocal, be active and aware in your community...just as the protesting party has done (btw, I have sat in on 4 of the 5 hearings). It's that simple. We Hawaiians need to make the best of what is available to us, to have the greatest potential for success and that of future generations.
Shirren Kaaiai says:
Jun 24, 2015 01:18 PM
Mahalo Tutu for your speaking out for our Mauna Kea. Being a descendant of Pele and Kanaka Maole I want to thank you for the history and Knowledge that you shared. I will continue to help stand and protect our Aina. We all must continue to stand and protect what our Kupuna's have left for us from another take over as they did to our Queen. May we continue to see those evil face's when the cross our path. There are many of them and alot we will have to keep our eyes open to keep ahead of them and not let them take was is rightfully our. Mahalo for your courage, Wisdom and strength that helps us to stand up. Aloha.
Jim Albertini says:
Sep 04, 2015 02:09 AM
Mahalo Aunty Pele for your fire and aloha.

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