KAHU CHARLES KAULUWEHI MAXWELL SR.
(Hawaiian Priest, Cultural Practitioner, Cultural Consultant, Author & Songwriter)
Before I begin my comments, I would like to dispute the statement made on page 3 of the Introduction that I "declined to comment" on this project. Ms. Ka'ohulani McGuire contacted me on numerous occasions and I informed her that I expected to be paid for my interview, as my knowledge is money. Mr. Charles Fein of KC Environmental Inc. was told the same thing. At no time did I decline to speak and felt that I would speak at the right time, thus my comments will follow.
Rockwell International employed Mr. Fein and an elaborate Environmental Assessment was prepared for the Maui Space Surveillance Complex and the AEOS telescope. It contained all the same material and special care will be observed with the site, dust control and respect the cultural and spiritual essence of the site, very similar language that is in this report. All lies, because numerous promises about protection of the site were broken.
They even went as far as removing 111 tons of sacred rock from the site, took the boulders that they dug up from the site to the crusher, and crushed all the rock. I found out after this was done, and at first Mr. Fein did not know where the rocks were taken. After two days and numerous press releases, the rock was found at the Hawaiian Cement crusher in Pu'unene. Special ceremonies were conducted at the pile of crush rock and I made sure that all the rock was taken back to Haleakala National Park which was used in the crater to fill the hiking trails. It could not be taken back to the site because it had been crushed. Until today the Air force has not lived up to their promise of finding a site for the Hawaiian People to worship, because the telescope now stands on the site that we use to worship at. Mr. Mike Mayberry tried to get a site through the Department of Land & Natural Resources, but it did not work out. I bring these facts up because some of the same people are involved in this project.
And now comes these esteemed researchers Ms. McGuire and Mr. Hammatt, who states that: Based on history of the land, talk-story with community members and interview informants, it is unlikely that native Hawaiian customs and practices will be affected by the proposed development.
It is the cumulative affect of "another structure" that ruins the sanctity and spirituality of the site. The mere fact that these artificial buildings obstruct the spirituality should be a signal to intelligent beings with B.A and Ph D after their names, that every building added to this site completely disrupts the cultural spirituality of this site. Numerous informants have spoke about the spiritual connection this site has to our people.
Haleakala is a wahi pana as expressed by the late Edward Kanahele in your report. Ed's expression was made about places like Haleakala and Maunakea, which in his statement he was makes reference to. I know this for a fact because up until his death, we were charter board members of Hui Malama I Na Kupuna. We have returned Iwi (bones) from all over the world back to the homelands of Hawaii. Several years ago, we reburied remains in Haleakala Crater.
I will now submit information that was shared to me over the last 63 years by my Kupuna while growing up on the slopes of Haleakala in Kula.
Since I was a teenager, I have been into Haleakala Crater and have helped the National Park over the last 40 years with locating the trail system in Haleakala, so it would not encroach on Hawaiian artifacts and burial in and around the crater.
Endangered Species, Endangered Culture
Every aspect of the ancient Kanaka Maoli culture was closely interconnected with the life forms of these islands. The saying "He Hawai`i Au" - I Am Hawai`i - reveals this basic truth: the people and their environment are one. All of the needs of the population (which numbered nearly as many as inhabit Hawai`i today) were provided for abundantly from the life of the land and ocean, passing on the stored energy of the sun La in multitudes of useful and beautiful forms.
Because of its geographic location as the most isolated land mass in the world, 5,000 miles from the nearest continent, the Hawaiian archipelago evolved incredibly diverse and unique ecosystems, with myriad species of flora and fauna found nowhere else on the planet.
The Kumulipo chant of creation, unique among the creation stories of the world, revealed the progressive development of increasingly complex orders of life long before Darwin introduced the idea of evolution to Europe.
Today Hawai`i is known as the extinction capital, with more extinct and endangered species than all the rest of the United States put together. More than sixty species of endemic Hawaiian birds have become extinct, and an additional 29 are endangered, totaling over 80 percent of Hawai`i's unique bird fauna. 10 new species on Maui have just been nominated for the endangered species list this year.
This signifies a deep rending of the fabric of life which can never be repaired in human time frames, and vanishing with these species are the cultural interrelations that developed with them through the generations over hundreds of years.
In the delicate ecology of the alpine climate of Haleakala's mountaintop, there are over thirty plants, as well as seven birds and numerous insects, listed as endangered species just within the National Park boundaries, with others listed as threatened species or species of concern.
Plants found on Haleakala mountain, many of which are endemic (native and unique) to this part of the island were used for a variety of cultural purposes.
A well-known tree is the sandlewood (Santalum freycinetianum), known in Hawaiian as `Iliahi. The wood was traditionally used to scent tapa cloth. It was sometimes used to make `ukeke, a musical bow, the only traditional Hawaiian stringed instrument. The leaves and wood of Sandlewood trees were also used medicinally, often in combination with `awa and other woods. One variety of Sandlewood occurs near the Park headquarters and Hosmer's Grove. The lanaiense variety, with a red flower, found only on East Maui and Lana`i, is endangered. Only around 100 plants survive today, with a population found on the south slope of Haleakala.
Other medicinal plants from this area include the `Ahina Kuahiwi (Gunnera petaloidea), also called Ka`ape`ape or `Ape`ape, and the Mau`u La`ili (Sisyrinchium acre), a crawling grass (native Iris) found on top of the mountain, which was used to treat skin disorders.
The durable wood of the golden-flowered lacy Mamane tree (Sophora chrysophylla) was utilized to make o`o (digging sticks), house poles, and holua sleds. One of the most outstanding examples of a holua slide was just recently discovered on the southeast slope of Haleakala mountain.
Many plants found on Haleakala were traditionally, and are still, used in lei-making. The Pukiawe (Styphelia tameiameiae), the Park's most abundant shrub, is a popular element in elaborate haku leis, as well as being food for the endangered Nene (Nesochen sandvicensis), the Hawaiian Goose, Hawai`i's state bird.
The famous `Ahinahina - Haleakala Silversword (Argyroxiphium sandwicense ssp. macrocephalum) - a variety found only on Maui, was also used to make leis, but overexploitation by outsiders contributed greatly to its near demise. Once numbering less than 100 plants, it is now listed as threatened, with a recovering population of around 65,000 plants.
Ancient Kanaka Maoli were careful observers, developing deep knowledge of these island habitats. Indigenous science had a complex understanding of what modern science is just beginning to grasp. But hostile foreign forces have interrupted the passage of this cultural heritage down through the generations, and much, though not all, of this precious information already has been lost.
For some endangered flora and fauna, it may already be too late, as the web of life unravels beyond our control. However, as long as they continue to survive, we must do our utmost to protect and restore these species. Many may be brought back from the brink of extinction if their habitat is preserved and restored, and we can play a positive role to assist in their perpetuation. Both the Silversword and the Nene goose are examples of species on Haleakala that nearly became extinct from human exploitation, which are now increasing in numbers due to our positive intervention.
Similarly, the cultural knowledge of these myriad life forms and complex ecosystems, though it has been diminished, still continues in the wisdom and practice of our Kanaka Maoli elders and their families, and is growing stronger with the renaissance of Hawaiian culture, adapting and integrating the best of what modern life has to offer to restore balance and sustainability to our society as a whole.
Today it is essential that whoever intends to build on Haleakala and Maui learn to respect the unique ecosystems and interconnected culture of this island, and support the restoration of our irreplaceable natural and Cultural heritage. They should have the foresight and wisdom to take a "second look" at the cultural sanctity of this site and have the better sense to re-access their intentions of building at this site for cultural reasons.
ALA HEA KA LA
"The Path To Call The Sun" was the ancient name of Haleakala - Sacred House Of the Sun, a Place Of Prayer and Initiation rites for our Po'o Kahuna (High Priest) as stated by the late Papa Kawika Ka'alakea (a venerated Kahu & Kupuna of Maui)
Mo`olelo o Ala Hea ka La
Pele's going down to Hana, Maui, was said by the ancients to be her very first experience in going under the earth from Haleakala to the north-western side of the peak of Kahuakala (the Sun's nose). On the northwest side of the peak is Hale o Pele (Pele's House). From there she caused a flow of lava to pour as far as Kawaipapa, Wakiu, Honokalani, Ka`eleku and between Honoma`ele and Makapu`u in `Ula`ino and the bed of Akiala. During this flow she also made Olopawa, Hina`i, Kaiwiopele, Leho`ula and Alau. These are all consequence of and interrelated with the crater and its activities. She also returned and died at Haleakala later in history in a battle between her rival sister - where her and Hi`iaka-i-ka-poli-o-Pele's iwi (bones) were scattered through the crater and the hill at Aleamae named Kaiwiopele.
During her first visit to Haleakala she began to dig a deep pit and made sixteen cinder cones that stand to this day. She went below Paukela, Naholaku and Maua. From Kaumunui to Paukela. These Pu`u (cones) are in a sacred alignment with the tip of Haneo`o for about 30 miles into the ocean. We are beginning to relearn the significance of the astro-archeology of that period and how these points are interrelated with the many Heiau. On the east side of Haleakala, there are over 300 Heiau - a higher concentration of ancient temples than any place else on the planet.
Haleakala, due to its density and iron content, is literally a vortex of gravity and electromagnetism, two fundamental forces which govern the realm of our perception and hold together the universe. Atomic particles move according to the force of electro magnetism and celestial bodies move according to the force of gravity. The Earth itself is a huge magnet. From atoms to stars these fundamental forces determine the shape of the world as we perceive it and as it is defined in western physics. The gravity of the Sun holds the earth within its orbital grasp and due to the density of Haleakala, it acts as a gravitational point of conduct for the planet, pulling and being pulled on to a greater degree than any other point on our earth.
When we put the Indigenous wisdom and teachings into perspective with western science, we further define our own cultural understanding of our ancient knowledge, validating and strengthening the spiritual foundations of life as a Kanaka Maoli (a descendant of the real people). Of course Haleakala is the sacred home of our Sun, and the ancient Path to Calling the Sun as depicted in its ancient name: Ala Hea Ka La. Why is this critical to our survival?
The Sun's energy is the source of all life, and governs our most basic rhythm of day and night. Ancient cultures have venerated its being, and we as a human race follow its course without thought and are insignificant in respect of its power. However, our Native Hawaiian Culture praises its existence and chants E Ala E from sacred points on Haleakala's rim to honor this ancient Path of Prayer.
The ancient spiritual use of the mountain is for meditation and receiving of spiritual information by Kahuna Po`o. It is a place where the tones of ancient prayer are balanced within the vortex of energy for spiritual manifestations. In ancient times, only Kahuna and their haumana (students) lived at Haleakala, for initiation rites and practices. As one Native Hawaiian cultural expert - Charles Kauluwehi Maxwell Sr. says: "...anything foreign, added, taken or constructed - obstructs the necessary balance and interrupts the traditional religious practices as has been exercised for centuries."
It is no wonder the United States Air Force has identified this point as a strategic scientific element in the star wars program for the Department of Defense. However, this is not in harmony with our culture - how do we address this problem? Short of removing all structures and restoring the natural condition of the summit, it is prerequisite for anyone who visits or works at the House of the Sun to strive to become sensitized to the subtleties of nature and culture of the place - even in thoughts and intentions. It is a place of prayer - the Path to Calling the Sun.
I have always said "...anything foreign, added, taken or constructed - obstructs the necessary balance and interrupts the traditional religious practices as has been exercised for centuries."
Because Haleakala is so sacred I must talk about the goddess of the Volcano.
Haleakala is the first point of exit where Pele had traveled under ground between Halema`uma`u and Haleakala. She is also responsible for digging and creating all the cinder cones and vents in the crater all the way down past Alau. And, in the end she and Hi`iaka died at Haleakala in a battle with a jealous sister from Kahiki.
The being responsible for bringing the relationship with the Crater and the Sun together. Legend relates how he snared the Sun from Haleakala to lengthen the day for drying the Tapa of Hina, his grandmother.
Legends hold that Hina would beat tapa in the Moon - the clouds are her Tapa. However Maui's mother is:
Daughter of Hina-ai-malama - wife of Akalana the father of Maui. Hina in the Fire.
The beautiful snow goddess of Mauna Kea on Hawai`i who sometime smote Pele's fires. She has been known to be in residence at Haleakala through history. She is noted as the romantic rival of Hina of Hana.
During the rule of Kahekili - the last ruling chief of Maui, he used the trails within the crater for warriors to travel for strategic positioning in battle.
The trails were also used as a communication cross road between Hana and Central Maui.
The trails were also used to transport fish between Hana and Ke`anae for the chiefs.
In closing I would like to urge the reconsideration of building this observatory based on spiritual and cultural objections. Until the master plan of the entire top of Haleakala is made no further buildings, observatories etc should be constructed. After this plan is completed, we then could work together in trying to mitigate our spiritual and cultural concerns, with those of science and astronomy. Thank you
Kahu Charles Kauluwehi Maxwell Sr.
157 Alea Place, Pukalani, Maui 96768