For many Hawaiians, lava flows are a time to honor, reflect

  • Illona Ilae, a Native Hawaiian from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, looks on after leaving an offering in front an alter below the Mauna Loa volcano as it erupts Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, near Hilo, Hawaii. Glowing lava from the world’s largest volcano is a sight to behold, but for many Native Hawaiians, Mauna Loa’s eruption is a time to pray, make offerings and honor both the natural and spiritual worlds. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

  • Illona Ilae, a Native Hawaiian from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, leaves an offering in front an alter below the Mauna Loa volcano as it erupts Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, near Hilo, Hawaii. Glowing lava from the world’s largest volcano is a sight to behold, but for many Native Hawaiians, Mauna Loa’s eruption is a time to pray, make offerings and honor both the natural and spiritual worlds. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

  • A woman records with her phone as lava erupts from the Mauna Loa volcano Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, near Hilo, Hawaii. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

  • People watch and record images of lava from the Mauna Loa volcano Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, near Hilo, Hawaii. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

  • An altar is built on an old lava field in front of the erupting Mauna Loa, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022, near Hilo, Hawaii. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)

  • Illona Ilae, a Native Hawaiian from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, sings as she leaves an offering in front an alter below the Mauna Loa volcano as it erupts Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, near Hilo, Hawaii. Glowing lava from the world’s largest volcano is a sight to behold, but for many Native Hawaiians, Mauna Loa’s eruption is a time to pray, make offerings and honor both the natural and spiritual worlds. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

HONOLULU — When Willette Kalaokahaku Akima-Akau looks out at the the lava flowing from Mauna Loa volcano and makes an offering of gin, tobacco and coins, she will be taking part in a tradition passed down from her grandfather and other Native Hawaiians as a way to honor both the natural and spiritual worlds.

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