IWI INA KUPUNA (Bones of our ancestors) DESECRATED, "AGAIN"

Letter to the Editor
The Maui News, March 2001

It is with great anger and pain that again, the Iwi of our Kupuna were desecrated for the sake of progress. One would think that after the Burials of Honokahua on Maui, which created laws to protect the Iwi of our ancestors, developers would know the importance of ancestral bones to our people. Yet there are "horror" stories of developers and others desecrating these sacred remains of our ancient people. These "do-gooders" who are trying to provide "benefits" to the local community are literally doing it on the "backs" of our Kupuna. One would think that JAL, the biggest airlines in Japan, whose people have a lot of respect for the dead and ancestral remains, would apply the same respect to our ancestral bones. Is the Hawaiian spirits of our ancestral bones not important? Do they have to be in a Shinto Shrine with lanterns on them to be honored, I think not.

In speaking with Mr. Don Hibbard, head of the State Historic Preservation Department on what is being done to the developers and to his personal who handled this case in an undesirable manner. I was told that they are "investigating". Lets hope that civil actions are taking by the State Historic Preservation and the State Attorney General, because with the sacred Iwi of our Kupuna, there should be no short cuts taken, and their spiritual essence not compromised.

Efforts by the Keopuka Ohana must be applauded because of their making everyone aware of this situation that has been going on for some time. What a shame that they had to take legal action with the Native Hawaiian Legal Corps, when there are other State agencies that was created to protect the Iwi of Na Kupuna. Hawaiians should be calling up the Governor, State Historic Officials and boycott flying on Japan Airlines until restitution is made and proper care is given to our Kupuna whose bones have been disturbed. By 157 Alea Place, Pukalani, saying "sorry", that don't cut it anymore.

Kahu Charles Kauluwehi Maxwell Sr.,
Board Member - Hui Malama I Na Kupuna
Chair of the Maui/Lanai Burial Council
Maui Hawaii, 96768

Ho`iho`i Mai