Hawaiian culture under attack

This TMT project has united us as a Hawaiian nation in ways that I’ve never seen. This is far greater than just the TMT project; this is about our existence. About our culture for the future generations.

As someone who is a part of that future generation, I feel the need to stand firm with our kupunas. Enough is enough. My generation has slim to none of the Mana’o. The knowledge, of our culture, of our history.

We’ve been so revolutionized and modernized by force that the knowledge of who we really are as Hawaiians is fading. Our kupunas are on the Mauna not to just protect the desecration of more sacred land, but to protect what’s left for all of us, the future of all Hawaiians.

Us kanakas are not just being oppositional just to make a scene because of a telescope. This is 150 years of oppression in the making and TMT is the tip of the iceberg.

Let’s face it, we are an endangered species. It’s beyond rare for you to find a full blooded Hawaiian, let alone half. I wish I could go on and on about the history and events that have led us to where we are today.

But the truth is, I barely know about everything that has happened.

About our cultural practices, all the songs and stories of our ancestors. I don’t know how to ole’lo Hawaii. And what’s more upsetting, is for the amount of knowledge I have, that is still considered more than most.

However, growing up without the full knowledge of my history, what little I have learned has always been tied to the aina. The plants, the mauna, the birds, the ocean, the ‘aina! We are so proud and protective of where we’re from. They aren’t protesting, they’re protecting. The aina is everything to us, our source of life, the connection to our history, who we are as people.

The aina is visual proof of our origin, our ancestors, our existence. With this TMT project, sure. You’ll be one step closer to finding out if there’s life out there in space. But by doing so, take thousands of steps backwards from preserving what we have right here in front of us?

Our culture is under attack all throughout Hawaii. Here on Kauai we too face battles, from Mark Zuckerberg and kuleana lands, to the disruption of the salt beds in Hanapepe due to the development of Maverick Helicopter and about hundreds of other issues that continue to push our culture further and further into devastation.

Mauna kea is not just a movement for the mauna, but a movement for us as Hawaiian people to take a stand.

To see everyone near and far come together for a peaceful movement to stand up for our rights, for the land. This is history in the making.

I am not against the study of the stars and I am not against science. Learning is all we have as humans, and knowledge is power. Now with that being said, if knowledge is power and the ‘aina is knowledge for us as Hawaiians. Why take that away from us?

We protect Mauna Kea to learn, to teach and to take care of the mauna that is here right now. Not to use it as a beacon to discover what else is out there in space.

Please tell me, what is the priority here?

Here and now our mauna needs us. There is so much that has already been lost and taken, enough is enough.

I’m not here to bash the ideas and values of others but just to express the perspective of a Hawaiian female of the next generation. I know where I stand.

So I say with no hostility whatsoever, A’OLE TMT. Our people, our culture, our aina has had enough disrespect. KU KIA’I MAUNA, until the last aloha aina. Kapu aloha.


Nalani Layosa-Ho’okano is a resident of Kauai

  1. Kauaidoug July 27, 2019 6:56 am Reply

    If one drives down the road constantly looking in the rear view mirror of the past then you are doomed in the future. TMT is looking to the stars and the journey begins for the future of all Mankind on top of Mauna Kea. Now that is something to be proud of.

  2. Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D. July 27, 2019 7:54 am Reply

    My dear Nalani Layosa-Ho’okano: Your commentary singles out one portion of your ancestry as though it is your entire identity; and it prioritizes your own ethnic identities without regard to the many other people of Hawaii. Such selfishness is regrettable. I hope you will someday be able to embrace the beautiful rainbow of races and cultures that makes Hawaii such a special place.

    You talk about 150 years of “oppression.” But I’m now describing 240 years of self-determination by the group you single out as your identity, native Hawaiians. You need to learn the fullness of your history, not merely the twisted version taught in your “Hawaiian Studies” classes.

    Kamehameha The Great was able to do what no other warrior had done in perhaps 2000 years — he conquered or subjugated all the Hawaiian islands under a unified government. And the only reason he succeeded where all others failed is because he used British guns, cannons, ships, and advisors. His closest advisor was John Young, whose bones are the oldest in Mauna Ala (Royal Mausoleum) where his tomb in the shape of a miniature heiau is guarded by a pair of pu’olu’olu (sacred taboo sticks). Kamehameha appointed Young to be Governor of his own home island (Hawaii Island), gave him a house right next to the great Pu’ukohola Heiau, gave him his own daughter as wife. Young’s son (Keoni Ana = John Junior) became Kuhina Nui of the Kingdom under Kauikeaouli Kamehameha III, and those two men are the only ones whose signatures are on the second Constitution, of 1852. Young’s granddaughter grew up to become Queen Emma.

    Following Kamehameha’s death in 1819, the top 4 political and spiritual leaders of the Kingdom exercised self-determination for all native Hawaiians by abolishing the old religion in 1819, the year BEFORE the missionaries came. That revolution was led by Liholiho King Kamehameha II; his biological mother Keopuolani who was Kamehameha’s sacred wife with highest mana in Hawaii; his stepmother Ka’ahumanu who was Kamehameha’s favorite wife and became Kuhina Nui (co-ruler); and Kahuna Nui (High Priest of the old religion) Hewahewa. The 4 of them staged the revolution by publicly violating the ‘aikapu at a huge luau where they then stepped forward and ordered the destruction of all the heiaus and burning of the idols. A few years later they adopted Christianity; and in 1840 Kamehameha III proclaimed the Kingdom’s first Constitution modeled on the U.S. one. The first sentence declared that God has made all people kokokahi — “of one blood” — and created us “to dwell on this Earth in unity and blessedness.”

    Please remember that the overthrow of the old religion, adoption of Christianity, adoption of a Constitutional government with rule of law, and later the establishment of private property — all these things were done by native Hawaiian leadership freely exercising self-determination to make these choices on behalf of their people. No oppression. Today ethnic Hawaiians enjoy the longest lifespan, best health, and greatest economic prosperity of any native group among the islands in the Pacific Ocean. Stop whining. Learn your real history. Embrace unity and equality, not racial divisiveness and anger. E malama pono.

    1. Christopher Kanehailua Freitas October 21, 2019 7:42 pm Reply

      KENNETH R. CONKLIN, PH.D OF “PHILOSOPHY” needs to stay in his own lane.
      namely “Philosophy” You should have a PH.D in stop trying so hard it’s coming and you ain’t
      stoping it oldman lmfao

  3. harry oyama July 27, 2019 8:33 am Reply

    Hawaii and the Hawaiian culture and people have always been about exploitation to amass greed by racist policies of non-Hawaiians including those “uncle Toms”, like Carlos Andrade selling out his own family for $profit to Facebook’s owner.

    You see it everywhere in Hawaii, First Hawaiian Bank, Hawaiian Electric Company and others that manipulate the very nature of Hawaiians for $profit, even the biggest tourist industry is nothing more than to prostitute Hawaiian culture for $profit. While all of this is going on, what is the current status of Hawaiians who are dying just to be on the waiting list for home lots, while retired State legislators many which are of the descendants of Japanese sugar immigrants getting sweet heart Crown Lands $ dollar a year leases which are often subleased out making much more as in the case of TMT, where the State also has $ dollar year lease being subleased to another tax funded UH for $17 million!

    These Crown Lands are suppose to benefit the Hawaiians, but apparently its being siphoned off by still illegal Japanese immigrants who will never be legit residents of Hawaii because Hawaiians never gave up their rights as a soverign entity. So when the Hawaiians see all this occurring, who can blame them for standing up for their rights.

    I get sick and tired listening to these so called patriot brain washed idiot proproganda and especially the self pity line of these racist Japanese and their 442nd and internment camps. They should be appreciated that King Kaulakaua did not deport them all back to Japan and Okinawa when their 3 year work contract for the sugar plantation expired.

    There won’t be a 442nd as many would have been killed in Okinawa or incinerated in Hiroshima, yet the descendants that now infest all State agencies including judges at an alarming rate of over 390% considering that they only represent 17% of Hawaii’s population, yet comprises of over 67% of all State agencies, including the DOE. Clearly some form of bias has and continue to take place in favor of this particular race, that wants to own all Crown Lands and exterminate the Hawaiians.

  4. Leilani July 27, 2019 12:49 pm Reply

    Love brought about the disintegration of your race, not hate.

    This woman needs to hate someone!

  5. Hans Roeger July 27, 2019 1:09 pm Reply

    Culture from Mauna Kea?  I am not a TMT fan and have been trying to understand the protests.
    Culture is preserved in many ways, such as
    ceremonies, traditions,  and storytelling by elders. And when you don’t have these – then go find some books.
    I have been reading: Malama Honua, Hokulea- A Voyage of Hope, by Jennifer Allen;  The Providential Life  and Hertage of Henry Obookiah by Christian Cook; Eddie Would Go by Stuart H Coleman; and Hawaii’s Story by Hawaii’s Queen Liliuokalani.
    Mauna Kea is just a beautiful pile of rock.

  6. ruthann jones July 27, 2019 2:50 pm Reply

    Start by cleaning up the disposed trash, vehicles, appliances and mattresses from the ‘aina’…then let’s talk about your pride in being of Hawaiian blood!

  7. manongindashadow0711 July 27, 2019 4:40 pm Reply

    If succeed on keeping the TMT to move to their alternate land(the Canary Islands)to build the telescope. what are the plans for Mauna Kea? Will you (Hawaians) be able to provide for your youths? Will you be prepared to give them a successful life here?

  8. Charlie Chimknee July 28, 2019 1:13 am Reply

    Aloha Kakou,

    Gee Harry you forgot to mention First Insurance…!

    You can google the pictures from the Hubble Space Telescope as it speeds through outer space a zillion miles from earth in the dark happy camera zones and far reaches of the universe, seeing stars, galaxies, and billions of years back of space objects, Stars, due to the late arrival of light traveling Only at the speed of Light Years coming in from outer space…delayed. Looking at stars that have physically already gone out,

    Extraordinary pics like the Sombrero Galaxy with 50 billion suns like ours and zillions of planets some of which in all probability support life as mysterious as it might be and may truly be.

    So why does this TMT need to be atop puny in comparison of height or altitude Mauna Kea just over 10,000 feet in elevation in comparison to the Hubble Telescope being hundreds of thousands of miles above our sea level…making the Big Island or anywhere in Hawaii for the TMT a foolish and childish need.

    We all know science and many of mankind are foolish, arrogant, and stupid and do things too often only get done is because they Can do worthless stuff when supported by our hard earned tax dollars one of the points of this discussion. Wasting our precious dollars ( $1.4. Billion) that could house, feed, clothe, and educate so many to provide better lives for.

    Of 13 telescopes so far on Mauna Kea they have done nothing to help the cultures of Hawaii so far, much less the Hawaiians, why would a mere approx 100’ more (30 meters) in altitude make any difference when the Huble Telescope does it a million times better.

    CHAIRMAN MAO, spearheaded the Chinese a short while ago and he caused 1 out of 4 people on earth to become housed, fed, clothed, and educated and led them out of starving Feudalism and from his nation’s gangster local landlord’s. That’s doing things for mankind and Mao never needed no telescope or religion to do that.

    The Hubble out in space Telescope has sent us back pictures of Saturn amd it’s rings and other incredible pictures. And yeah wow even the Sombrero Galaxy and so what a Fake big deal.

    Where are the pictures from the Mauna already 13 telescopes…and so far nothing or vey little shown on PBS OR HOIKE…and why not, don’t we rate since paying for it.

    Sure without the TMT, The Big Island will lose janitor jobs but those science jobs will have to remain on the mainland and Europe…oh pity them.

    And if these goofy idea-ed well fed scientists find life out there on other planets in the universe, it may backfire, what if those “foreign” planets occupants look back at us or already do and realize we have failed our control mechanism, NATURE, provided by the intelligence of the universe, and we have as a specie violated all the rules of Nature leading to dirty rotten filthy stinking pollution and as lying scientists hide this potential terminal stage 4 pollution, spoken under the ruse of Global Warming…almost every sacrilege of nature is being trodden on by the use of petroleum gone wild as the source of pollution, petrochemicals, we failed to use in a moderation that would not make precious life an at risk situation on earth and not exterminated into extinction like so many creatures that have forever succumbed to this misuse of this one fatal natural resource found in nature and abused beyond all reason.

    And you complain and slight our Hawaiian brethren who obviously see farther than any telescope on earth and who can see clearly the importance of the Aina and the sacred of not only Mauna Kea but of the abuse of our tiny blue and green planet. Hawaiian vision Can see past the stars, even the very stars that brought them in more primitive times across the vast Oceania.

    The fools of the religion of Telescopism, and Astronomism, have by visiting moon and Mars have done not one thing for earth and human kind who suffer as a result of our precious mana being used in space study and travel when that resource should be spent on earth to treat all humans equally.

    And what if the backfire of outer space study and travel results in unfriendly other planetary militaristic colonizers and we have to contend with a might so far unknown and greater, and we have to defend ourselves from their Goliathan might.

    Well back in Vietnam all the kings horses and ’s, tanks, rockets, jets, napalm and helicopters could not stop men and women in pajamas wanting and needing rice in their bowls, and we killed 2 million of their defenseless civilians with the above weapons of mass destruction along with the napalm.

    And we gotta stick our nose in other planets business…uninvited…?

    Petroleum…coal and oil, the great scourge of all pollution, whether air, water, or land. And due to the greed of easy enormous $$$ Profit, they ain’t gonna stop it’s use until it’s all used up…in the meantime let’s find some where safe and clean to go hide out on in our ongoing space travel and exploration exorbitant espense.

    And what if those beings find out we are spying on them and that we have designs to take their planet over, what if they are super advanced and Can tell we have sacrificed our precious sacred places and natural resources and now earth is a place to avoid for being dirty and dangerous.

    And when America shows up on the shores of another planet armed with might of a David Ige in comparison to another Pacific Islander like a Dwayne “The “Rock” Johnson, we are gonna wish we stayed home and forget the telescope.

    And can these Blind Faith believers in telescopes and outer space, they name one good thing we have benefitedvym from this congregation Muna Kea telescopes. Let’s not let Mauna Kea become another Golgatha sacrificing good people for the uncommon bad.


  9. ARF July 28, 2019 3:33 am Reply

    Hey there hairy little mountain,
    Your negativity and racism is a disease in your head, and you’re spewing it out like coughing in a crowded room.
    ONE. sentence will free you and anyone debilitated with hatred.
    Forgiveness is the only way you will have any peace

  10. Dt July 28, 2019 12:06 pm Reply

    Every land on planet earth will be diversified and eventually developed over time. Diversification is a natural process. The only way to fight it would be to shut down tourism and immigration, and let’s face it, that won’t happen.

  11. Saturnino Pimentel aka Haumea Kui'ikaikakahekilimekalapahuila Kanei July 29, 2019 12:19 am Reply

    The information below comes from the Apology law U.S. public law 103-150. International law professor Francis A. Boyle (FAB) came to Hawaii to give his opinion on the law in 1993.
    FAB provides an in-depth analysis on the Apology law in St. Thomas law review. One of them is the definition of the Whereas clause; “These clauses are the official findings of fact and law by the United States Congress. These findings bind all state and federal courts here in Hawaii.”
    He goes on to say, “This is now officially recognized as a matter of United States domestic law. You should be able to take this law, any time you are in court, and show it to the judge and the jury, and say, “this is the law; this is what has happened to me and my people and I am basing my conduct, whatever I am doing, on the basis of this law. It cannot be denied any more.”
    You can find the full text and legal foundation of the Nation of Hawai’i: @: nationofhawaii.org

    1. Whereas, prior to the arrival of the first Europeans in 1778, the Native Hawaiian people lived in a highly organized, self-sufficient, subsistent social system based on communal land tenure with a SOPHISTICATED LANGUAGE, CULTURE, AND RELIGION;

    14. Whereas, in a message to Congress on December 18, 1893, President Grover Cleveland reported fully and accurately on the illegal acts of the conspirators, described such acts as an “act of war, committed with the participation of a diplomatic representative of the United States and without authority of Congress”, and acknowledged that by such acts the government of a peaceful and friendly people was overthrown;

    32. Whereas, the health and well-being of the Native Hawaiian people is intrinsically tied to their deep feelings and attachment to the land;

    GENOCIDE (U.S. Public law 100-606)
    33. Whereas, the long-range economic and social changes in Hawaii over the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries have been devastating to the population and to the health and well-being of the Hawaiian people;

    34. Whereas, the Native Hawaiian people are determined to preserve, develop and transmit to future generations their ancestral territory, and their cultural identity in accordance with their own spiritual and traditional beliefs, customs, practices, language, and social institutions;

    36. Whereas, the Eighteenth General Synod of the United Church of Christ in recognition of the denomination’s historical complicity in the illegal overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1893 directed the Office of the President of the United Church of Christ to offer a public apology to the Native Hawaiian people and to initiate the process of reconciliation between the United Church of Christ and the Native Hawaiians


  12. I saw a Vampire once July 29, 2019 7:20 am Reply

    Our culture has evolved into someting more tangible. Modern. And ideal. It’s become a history in itself to become one with it. Then you see culture the way it is or should be, idealistic. It pictures a Warrior. They fight for something that they believe in, a heart of a warrior and fight like a champion. This is the spirit of Aloha or Hawai’i as it once was.

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