Na Wahi Pana o ka Paemoku (Sacred Sites and Storied Landscapes of Hawai'i)


Na Wahi Pana o ka Paemoku (Sacred Sites and Storied Landscapes of Hawai'i)

A group created for the purpose of discussing wahi pana (sacred sites and storied landscapes) in our community. Focus will be on management and stewardship of cultural resources, volunteer opportunities, and protection efforts.

Members: 153
Latest Activity: Feb 3, 2016

Discussion Forum


Started by Iwikuamoʻo Olanāiwi Jul 17, 2010.

Na heiau i ka Wao Akua 9 Replies

Started by ʻOhukaniʻōhiʻa. Last reply by Ka Nāʻo o ka lani -o- Nākoloi Sep 25, 2009.

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Comment by ku ching on April 6, 2011 at 1:05pm


We are going there to listen.

Posted on KAHEA  by Miwa Tamanaha at Apr 06, 2011 12:41 PM |
We are going there to listen.

Mauna Kea Solstice Ceremony

Tiffany Hervey is a journalist. On >>>>

“Remember the mood tonight is aloha. The prayer tonight is ssssshhhh… listen. We are not going to the summit to speak. We are going there to listen.”

Uncle Paul addresses the people who have gathered at his home in Hilo on this night, December 21, 2010, for the winter solstice. Uncle Paul Neves, former ali‘i ‘aimoku, high chief of the Royal Order of Kamehameha I and Kumu Hula, speaks about the protocol for the evening’s ascent to the summit of Mauna Kea and winter solstice ceremony. His words really serve as etiquette for everyday life.

“It’s about raising the standards of aloha always,” he says. “It’s about how we love this land and how it responds. It’s about love always, because if cannot, what else are we doing here? This is about a personal commitment to a common goal.”

Mauna Kea is known as “the mountain of Wākea” and is identified as a child born of Wākea in the haku mele, “Hanau A Hua Ka Lani.” It is a sacred and respected ancestor of the Hawaiian people. The summit is the highest point among all the islands of Polynesia and is known as a Wao Akua, sacred realm of the gods. Mauna Kea has more than 90 shrines and burial sites. Areas where spirits live have always been respectfully kapu. Building on this sacred space is desecration of cultural and spiritual land.

After everyone had gathered all the ho'okupu, a beautiful hula performance and a prayer in Uncle Paul’s front yard surrounding his ahu were offered, and then we piled into vans. We stopped at many ahu on the way to the summit. First was Puhi Bay, then Naha stone, Pu'uhuluhulu, the lele at the visitor's center, Kealoha's family shrine, and finally Kukahau'ula, the summit of Mauna Kea.

As the sapphire shadows under this full moon, we stood, a group of priests, lawyers, cultural practitioners, students, organizers and activists who came to connect with Mauna Kea. It was only 30 years ago that Hawaiians were not allowed to speak their native language in schools. Building on this sacred land began when the collective voice of Native Hawaiians was silenced. This winter solstice is just part of the movement toward reviving a culture whose tongue was cut, whose lands were taken, and whose opposition was systematically oppressed by any means necessary.

Mauna Kea is not only the center of Hawaiian spirituality; it is the center of ceded lands—1.8 million acres—crown lands of the Hawaiian monarchy. The current fight against further construction of telescopes on Mauna Kea is a fight for physical, cultural, and political survival. At some point in the night, Uncle Paul asks, “What is the difference between a soldier and a warrior? A soldier follows orders and fights when told to. A warrior fights when it is pono to do so.”

At the visitor’s center, we pray, offer our ho'okupu surrounded by silverswords and shooting stars, and talk about astronomy. Hawaiian activist Kealoha Pisciotta, who once worked here as a telescope technician, reminded us why and how we keep track of our days the way we do. “The roman calendar we currently follow was based on war and bloodshed, not the natural cycles of the earth,” she said.

Only then did it really click that modern astronomy is something completely different than that of native astronomy. Ancient stargazing, lunar cycles, and way-finding are much different ways of understanding our world than the science of 30-meter telescopes and keeping time to a Judeo-Christian calendar from a fallen empire.

“Hawaiians use Mauna Kea's high elevation landscape for ceremonies that contain star and other knowledge essential to modern Hawaiian voyaging, knowledge our ancestors used to discover thousands of tiny islands spread over 10 million square miles of the vast Pacific Ocean, before the time of Christ and millennia before modern astronomy,” Kealoha states. “But the constant building of new telescopes has destroyed critical landmarks and obstructed essential view planes that reveal star paths and astronomical alignments.”

Kealoha, one of the first Hawaiians employed in astronomy on the summit, resigned her job after twelve years, in protest over the desecration she witnessed.

As we reach 13,000 feet and park by the observatories to hike to the top of the summit, recent snowfall glows around us, the ground lights up like cosmic carpet by the moon. Ice crunches underfoot as we all assume a penguin walk to steady our slippery feet and straining lungs. No words exist to describe what happened next. We saw the sun rise as the full moon lingered and the clouds below teased us with glimpses of land and sea. Everyone had a different experience at the summit— they all offered their prayers and listened the way that they knew how.

Strangely, I caught myself thinking about Paha Sapa, the Black Hills of South Dakota. The area was often described as an island of trees in a sea of grass, set off from the main stretch of the Rocky Mountains. This area was sacred land for the Lakota-Sioux Indians, and central to their culture. Today, this sacred mountain attracts millions of people annually as Mount Rushmore, where the faces of presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt are carved into the granite. I thought of these faces carved into the sacred mountain in juxtaposition to hearing some Native Hawaiian elders refer to the telescopes on Mauna Kea as “pimples.” Blemishes indeed.

For native peoples everywhere, cultural ecology is bound in the land. So for native peoples everywhere, the battle is infinite to keep culture alive. Our kuleana is to simply love the land the best way we know how each day: protect, fight, learn, conserve and preserve. In the end, it is about love, always. Because like Uncle Paul said: if cannot, then what else are we here for?


See pictures from this journey:

Mauna A Wakea:

Mauna Kea: Temple Under Siege documentary.

McFarling, Usha Lee. “Science, Culture Clash Over Sacred Mountain,” Los Angeles Times, 
March 18, 2001.

Pisciotta, Kealoha. “Displacing Hawaiians on Mauna Kea,” West Hawaii Today, August 2, 2009.


Comment by Kahealani Costa on October 28, 2009 at 8:00am
he nani kakou
Comment by Ailana Keailen on September 11, 2009 at 4:03pm
Comment by Ailana Keailen on September 11, 2009 at 3:57pm

AKAKA Who has been in his Political "Anglo" Office,
knows this also!
It's Time For "ALL Hawaiian Solverienty Groupes Come Together, AS 1." AND Stop YOUR little selfish money making $$$$ Segrated (non-profit crap) ..MALAMA AS 1 & FIGHT THIS OPPRESSION BY UNJUST LAWS
Comment by Ailana Keailen on September 11, 2009 at 4:20am
Kaulana na pua a'o Hawai'i K u pa'a mahope o ka 'aina Hiki mai ka 'elele o ka loko 'ino Palapala 'anunu me ka pakaha. Pane mai Hawai'i moku o Keawe.Kokua na Hono a'o Pi'ilani.Kako'o mai Kaua'i o Mano Pa'apu me ke one Kakuhihewa.'A'ole 'a' 'kau i ka pulima Maluna o ka pepa o ka 'enemi Ho'ohui 'aina ku 'ai hewa I ka pono sivila a'o ke kanaka. 'A'ole makou a'e minamina I ka pu'ukala a ke aupuni. Ua lawa makou i ka pohaku,I ka 'ai kamaha o o ka 'aina. Mahope makou o Lili'u-lani A loa'a 'e ka pono a ka 'aina. (A kau hou 'ia e ke kalaunu) Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Ka po'e i aloha i k 'aina. Famous are the children of Hawai'i Ever loyal to the land Hawai'i, land of Keawe, answers. Pi'ilani's bays help. No one will fix a signature To the paper of the enemy With its sin of annexation And sale of native civil rights. We do not value The government's sums of money. We are satisfied with the stones.Astonishing food of the land.We back Lili'u-lani
Who has won the rights of the land.its story of land
Comment by Ailana Keailen on September 6, 2009 at 5:41pm
“Ho`ea - A Long Sought Vision – A Visit With Hiko Hanapi”

A first-of-its-kind native Hawaiian arts school, Ho`ea brings master artisans from throughout the Pacific to teach both indigenous & contemporary art to students ranging from young to old. Speaking for the first time about the project, Hiko reveals their goal – mentor students intensively to produce world-class art. Filmed at the Hawai`i Prep Academy in Waimea, you’ll soon see why this native fine arts school is uniquely like no other. – Watch It Here.

Voices Of Truth interviews those creating a better future for Hawai`i to discover what made them go from armchair observers to active participants. We hope you'll be inspired to do the same.

If you support our issues on the Free Hawai`i Broadcasting Network, please email this to a friend to help us continue. A donation today helps further our work. Every single penny counts.

Donating is easy on our Voices Of Truth website via PayPal where you can watch Voices Of Truth anytime.

For news and issues that affect you, watch Free Hawai`i TV, a part of the Free Hawai`i Broadcasting Network.

Please share our Free Hawai`i Broadcasting Network videos with friends and colleagues. That's how aloha Hiko and Ho`ea - the art project that has everyone talking – on Voices Of Truth – One-On-One With Hawai`i's Future.

MONDAY, September 7th At 6:30 PM – Maui – Akaku, Channel 53
MONDAY, September 7th At 7:00 PM & FRIDAY, September 11th At 5:30 PM – Hawai`i Island – Na Leo, Channel 53
THURSDAY, September 10th At 8:30 PM & FRIDAY, September 11th At 8:30 AM - Kaua`i – Ho`ike, Channel 52
SATURDAY, September 12th At 8:00 PM – O`ahu, `Olelo, Channel 53
- aloha
Comment by Kawika Kamealaha'ole 'A'a'aina on September 5, 2009 at 10:06pm
It is our kuleana to protect & care for ALL of our lands & waters ... We must stop American & its non-caring military from their blatant disregard & distruction of OUR HOME LAND & WATERS
Comment by Ailana Keailen on September 4, 2009 at 1:20pm
mahalo Kaikunane E pili mau nâ pômaika`i me `oe to your day aloha AilanaPhotobucket
Comment by Ailana Keailen on September 3, 2009 at 9:22am
Aloha kakahiaka Kaikunane mahalo for da add aloha and malama pono ailana
Comment by Donna Burns on April 9, 2009 at 10:15pm
Summer...glad to see you made this on Maoliworld. Can you just add my name to it? My name is Donna Burns and I'm a member of the HIAA
(Hawaiian Independence Action Alliance) and Hui Kai 'Ula. If you need more info. you can email me at Good work.

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