E Ola i Ka Wai - Statement of the Protect Kahoʻolawe ʻOhana calling for the immediate shut down and decommissioning of the Kapūkakī (Red Hill) Fuel Storage Tanks
He lani ko luna, he honua ko lalo nei.
He kanaka koʻonā, he kanaka ko neʻi.
He aloha ko neʻi, he hoʻolono koʻonā.
Aloha nui kākou!
This year's Makahiki opening, or kuapola, went very well. We had calm winds and water. Was hot though. We were 18 strong as a few were unable to be with us unfortunately. Mahalo to all those who sent hoʻokupu. Mahalo to Momi for coordinating the access. Mahalo to Kalei Luʻuwai and his keiki for getting us to Kanaloa safely. Mahalo to D-Mar for driving zodi and cooking super ʻono kind grinds. Mahalo to Kat for all the photos.
Camp looked amazing. Seeing the green plants in Hakiowa is reason to rejoice. Mahalo nui to those who have been making that happen over the course of this year. Doesn't seem long before we'll be harvesting hoʻokupu and meaʻai from Hakioawa.
Ceremonies went well. Everyone worked really hard and uniformly toward our goals. All hoʻokupu were prepared by 10am and we were on our way to ceremony. Lonomakua looked majestic and regal while presiding over our ceremonies. The hoʻonuʻunuʻu, or speeches that accompanied the hoʻokupu when presented, were crafted and delivered at the imu and even up at the Mua too. The ʻauamo took double duty given that we were short handed. They were used at the imu and at the Mua. It seemed to enhance the ceremony.
With heavy hearts after hearing that Uncle Bobby passed the evening prior and our beloved Cami weighing on our thoughts, we departed on our pinana i uka at about 5:30am under a setting Hoku moon. We chased Hoku as she set around day break. E Ala Ē was on the first hard-pan ma uka of "buns of steal" (well, maybe a little earlier ). Ceremony wrapped up around 10am. We made good time. So, we took a siesta at Kauhialono.
Our free day was no different. We were able to reattach a covering to the water tank, inventory and clean up.
We look forward to planning with our broader ʻOhana a celebratory 40th as Closing in January 1982 was the first one. How that looks, we need to plan. Hope you have ordered your 40th anniversary Makahiki shirts. Would be good to have our ʻOhana come together on Island and have some of the old-timers come back. We see what happens.
No laila e ka ʻOhana, this kupa of the Ua Pōʻaihale is returning to nestle beneath the verdant Koʻolau cliffs.
Ke aloha nui!
Check out this 1982 article from The Maui News. Author Gary Kubota describes the Protect Kahoʻolawe ʻOhana's first Makahiki ceremony on Kahoʻolawe. The resurgence of Makahiki was aimed at petitioning Lono, the deity of fertility, to aid in the ʻOhana's efforts to regreen Kahoʻolawe.
Earlier this summer, a small contingency of PKO kua and regular huakaʻi participants visited Kahoʻolawe with the intention of observing and monitoring marine life in the area. They also worked on the water catchment system that sustains our periodic residence in Hakiowa. Check out the video below to learn more!
Earlier this month, we commemorated 45 years since the first landing on Kahoʻolawe on January 4, 1976. Since then, thousands of people, from kūpuna to keiki, were given the opportunity to connect with Kahoʻolawe while participating on a huakaʻi with the Protect Kahoʻolawe ʻOhana. We can all agree that Kahoʻolawe is an extremely special place. To truly know how extraordinarily magical Kahoʻolawe truly is, one just “gotta go.” “Cause if you no go, then you donʻt know!”
Mahalo to everyone who has contributed to the various work projects that that the ʻOhana has engaged in over the years. All of our huakaʻi participants have given so much to this island, but not nearly as much as Kahoʻolawe has given to all of us in return. I mua, nā pua. Lanakila, Kahoʻolawe! Tsua!
Song: Mele O Kahoʻolawe, by Uncle Harry Kunihi Mitchell
Recorded by Maunalua. We do not own the rights to this recording.
An update from Moʻolono C.M. Kaliko Baker:
Welina ke aloha e ka ʻOhana.
After careful planning and consideration of our ceremonies and safety, we were able to create protocols that not only ensured safe engagement, they also arguably lifted our ceremonial focus. Win–win for sure. Having SO MUCH aloha in getting us there was critical to our huakaʻi. Lono is fed and is bringing his kino lau to re-green Kanaloa Moku. Mahalo nui to everyone who contributed to us being on Kahoʻolawe to fulfill our kuleana Makahiki. It was certainly a collective effort.
I wanted to share a bit about our huakaʻi. Given that there were 17 participants, the work was a bit more for each individual than normal. We were able, nonetheless, to get everything prepared in a timely manner. Pictured below are the new ʻauamo and the first iteration of their stands. The lama was rescued by Tom some years back and he soaked it in his loʻi for a few months before he and Wendal had the 10+ inch in diameter log milled down. Craig took the lead on shaping and carving four kiʻi into the ʻauamo. One day, we hope that all the ʻOhana can meet them.
Ultimately, the access went well because of all the planning, foresight, collective effort, and, of course, Lono's will for us to be there. Part of that effort was the tremendous food prep. D Mar led that effort and ran the kitchen. Kelvin managed the water. We had super ʻono grinds and clean water.
We learned a lot from this process. Makahiki will change moving forward because of what we learned. For example, pre-Makahiki video conferencing is critical to preparedness. Being mākaukau translates to better ceremonial focus.
Anyway, as we enter our fourth decade of Makahiki practice on Kahoʻolawe, we all wish you good health and prosperity. We plan to start planning our closing soon. We'll keep you in the loop.
Me ke aloha nō,
The Protect Kahoʻolawe ʻOhana deemed a period of sabbatical for community huakaʻi due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it was necessary for a few of our kua and critical support individuals to access the island to continue work on our Ala Loa. A small contingency of ten (10) participants accessed the island in the days during the recess of the inter-island travel quarantine rules. Unfortunately, their huakaʻi was abruptly interrupted by the eminent threat of Hurricane Douglas and the group evacuated from Kahoʻolawe two days earlier than planned. We are thankful that all participants returned to their homes safely. Continue reading for their full report.
We wanted to report back on our July huakaʻi to Ahupū. Group of ten went to Ahupū to reestablish camp. Kitchen items, tools, and equipment items were purchased and transported to island. Mahalo to the Ala loa crew for all their planning. Mahalo to the ʻohana for all their donations and pule during the fire recovery.
It was beautiful on the morning of Day 1. In between boats, a small crew was able to check camp. Water catchments were full and the water looked clean. Bathrooms were also clean and secure. The Spice Cabinet had no evidence of mice. Kudos to Momi and the Hālau ʻŌhiʻa gang for leaving everything so tidy. Crew noticed heavy beach erosion in Hakioawa.
Ahupū and Ahupūiki
Unsure of what to expect after the fire, the colors were amazing and it was exciting to see new growth. It appears that the fire was a smoldering one, burning low-lying brush and kiawe.
We were able to set up camp, including tent to secure tools and push back the brush to create a larger fire break; expanding the camp site.
We were also able to visit the petroglyphs in Ahupūiki which was a great way to reconnect with the space. On Day 2 we were able to do some ala loa work before having to break down camp and leave early due to Hurricane Douglass. We were able to flag about .5 mile and weed whack .25 mile. It is noted that, in addition to Papakanui, Aikupau, and Kuheia, Ahupū is now set up as a hoʻomoana to serve as a field site with basic kitchen, work equipment, and lua to accommodate small group access. Ala loa trailheads are open to the east and west directions. Water conditions allowed unloading by zodiac to come close to shore.
This huakaʻi was rescheduled numerous times due to the pandemic. Everyone's safety and health was of utmost importance for this huakaʻi. Ala Loa crew drafted up some plans to maintain sanitation, social distancing, and plans of action in case someone from the group began to show symptoms. It was trying at times to follow our safety plans. We hope soon to have a meeting again to discuss this and the viability of this with larger community huakaʻi. In the meantime, some things that we found that worked well:
• Uncle Kelʻs foot pump for our water jugs to dispense water
• Numerous Hand Sanitizer Spray bottles at the bathroom, near water jugs, kitchen area, and so on.
• Gloves for kitchen prep area
• Wearing facemasks during boat transport
• Waterfall technique for Kapu Kai (Yeah Kahale!!!)
Jay Boy, Poʻokela, Kahale, Josh, Brutus, and Pearl
The Protect Kahoʻolawe ʻOhana has declared a Wā Hoʻomaha, a period of rest, for our huakaʻi to Kanaloa Kahoʻolawe. The Protect Kahoʻolawe ʻOhana (ʻOhana) holds the utmost concern for the safety of our huakaʻi participants and our collective community that supports Kanaloa Kahoʻolawe and Aloha ʻĀina throughout our Pae ʻĀina ʻo Hawaiʻi. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ʻOhana has made the difficult decision to pause community huakaʻi through February 2021 or until further notice. The possible risk of exposure to participants while together on the island, as well as the potential for participants to expose their own ʻohana and home communities is too great to ignore. Our Lāhui has a history of disproportionate rates of infection and mortalities due to widespread disease. We must be makaʻala and continue to assess the potential dangers of the current pandemic.
As we move through the current time of change, we would like to urge everyone to take this time to care for ourselves, our families, and our communities. We encourage our broader ʻOhana to continue to hold space and pule for Kanaloa Kahoʻolawe and Aloha ʻĀina. We also encourage everyone to seek out Aloha ʻĀina opportunities in your own communities. Please remain safe and healthy, remember to care for our kūpuna and our ʻohana. The Protect Kahoʻolawe ʻOhana reaffirms our commitment to Kanaloa Kahoʻolawe. We look forward to welcoming our extended ʻohana back on the island when it is deemed safe. I ola Kahoʻolawe, I ola ka lāhui, I ola kākou. Aloha.
A recollection by Poʻokela Hanson, Protect Kahoʻolawe ʻOhana Kua
"To watch Kaho’olawe burn & not able to do anything was hard to stomach. This weekend, the Protect Kahoʻolawe ʻOhana was able to access the island to assess the damages caused by #KahoolaweFire. A small group of us were able to go, by zodiac, to Ahupū, the location of the newest Ala Loa field camp. As we approached Ahupū, Syd Boy (Kawahakui) Uncle Kel (Ho) & I imagined the worst.
When we landed on shore, we got out of the zodi & quietly walked about our separate ways to assess the aftermath of the fire. Walking around the trail & our camp, I began to think about the equipment, progress we made the last time we were here, & the setbacks we would experience as a result of the fire. As I approached the area where our gear & equipment was stored, I noticed all that was left of our supply tent was damaged gear (weed whackers, chainsaws, cooking equipment, & work supplies). I was disheartened, to say the least. My eyes shifted quickly to the location where I recall us leaving raised on a PVC pipe, our beloved Hae Hawaiʻi, our Hawaiian Flag. What I saw was awe-striking: In the grass, intact, & right at the base of where the fire stopped, laid our Hae Hawaiʻi! Such an amazing hō’ailona & incredible thing to witness. The reaction of Syd & Uncle Kelvin when we brought the flag home to Hakioawa was even more memorable.
The resolve & strength of our ‘Ohana and Lāhui is represented by this flag. As we struggle to protect our culture & home, images like this will forever be cemented in my heart because it serves as a reminder of our pride & resiliency as a lāhui. Just like our kūpuna, we refuse to be erased from history. This symbol of pride, unity, & strength will be remembered forever. Honor the people that came before us, take care of each other, & love one another until the last aloha ʻāina.
We may remember this flag as the one that graced the backdrop as Po and the 4 Fathers (@po4fathers on Instagram) blessed us with their voices in the #Jam4MaunaKea rendition of Liko Martinʻs composition, "All Hawaiʻi Stand Together." In these trying times, let's all remember the lyrics of this mele: Hawaiʻi loa, kū like kākou, kūpaʻa me ka lōkahi..." All of Hawaiʻi, stand together. Stand firm in unity."
The Ala Loa must continue. To the hundreds of people that set their pōhaku on this path, we need your kōkua now more than ever. Donations of any sort will help the ʻOhana replace the damaged equipment needed to complete the Ala Loa. Please visit http://charity.gofundme.com/kahoolawefire to make a donation. You may also visit at @kahoolawe on Instagram to learn about other opportunities to kōkua recovery efforts. We understand these are difficult times for many in the face of global events. Sharing this story with others, your experience on Kahoʻolawe, or spreading our value of aloha ʻāina is also a valuable contribution.
Your continued pule & aloha is appreciated. Aloha ʻĀina, Aloha Kahoʻolawe, E ola Kanaloa! "