Thursday, May 27, 2010

Musings: Iwi and Rail

If you're interested in the issue of burial preservation, I've got a cover story in the current Honolulu Weekly that delves into how the city's rail project is likely to impact iwi kupuna, and concerns that Honolulu Mayor and gubernatorial hopeful Mufi Hannemann is manipulating the process for his own political benefit:

Kawika McKeague, chairman of the Oahu Island Burial Council (OIBC), is not a psychic. But he and other preservationists say they can see the future of the city’s $5.3 billion elevated rail project, and to them, it looks something like this:

The city will build the line from West Oahu to downtown, where it will start finding large concentrations of Hawaiian burials. The city, citing the billions already invested to get to that point, will then pressure the Burial Council to relocate the iwi kupuna, or allow construction atop the bones. If Council members resist, they’ll be vilified as anti-development obstructionists and blamed for delaying — perhaps even derailing — the project and adding greatly to its cost. If they go along, they’ll be vilified as cultural sell-outs who set burial protection back to square one. The result, in any case, will be controversy, animosity, great sorrow and angst.

You can read the rest here.

This same approach to phasing the archaeological surveys is also being employed here with the various Wailua projects, including the Path.


Anonymous said...

More work for you!

Anonymous said...

Moving the bones is the only answer.

No matter how much you want it, you cannot stop development because of previously-unknown bones.

Hawaii cannot and will not revert to pre-development times, nor stop future development over bones.

Anonymous said...

things change, show respect, re-intern and get over it.

Anonymous said...

Once worked on a construction site where the raising sea levels were covering the iwi. They took them out and moved them to higher ground to better care for them.
No big deal

Anonymous said...

I'm already over it. We're in America now. We move bones to designated burial grounds and out of the way of progress to satisfy the living.

Too bad so many others are not "over it".

Kauai becoming Maui becoming Oahu becoming LA.

Slow but sure.

We on the BI just wish were more like Maui.

Dawson said...

"Too bad so many others are not 'over it'."


And what, exactly, is "over it?" Making believe that deep beliefs don't matter? Saying, "Oh well, at least the resort development built on my ancestors' bones is providing employment?"

The unconscionable essence of the colonial mindset is that it is purely self-serving. Its very language is a grab bag of catchphrases that encode convenience for the self-proclaimed conqueror. It is intellectually impoverished, morally bankrupt and culturally narcissistic.

To that end, it is even devoid of good grace to prescribe the position that those who "need to get over it" should assume while they, their culture and those things they hold most dear get fucked.

Anonymous said...

But we kiss them first.

Get over it. It's happening anyway.

It's the way of the world.

The Hawaiians on Maui had to "get over it" when King Kam invaded them.

The ability to "get over it" is fundamental to thriving in new realities.

Besides, we love to be the fuckers.

Anonymous said...

plan on change

Kooko said...

Good grief.

On one hand we have "It is intellectually impoverished, morally bankrupt and culturally narcissistic"

and on the other hand we have "Besides, we love to be the fuckers"

both sides need to take a deep breath here, step back, and think before talking (writing).


The impending rail project: it does seems that they are going to ram it through, hell or highwater.

Anonymous said...

its called progress

Anonymous said...

I keep telling you it all will happen. Wave your signs, post your blog comments, use lots of CAPS and "!!!!" to express your angst.

Then, get over it.

It's coming and you will have to reconcile yourself to its presence. May as well do that in a way that doesn't cause you continuing internal strife.

You use the H1, H2 and H3 freeways when you go to Oahu, right? Driving over all those bones...

Some of you play golf on Kauai...putting over all those bones...

Sane people get over it. The "new clothes" start to feel good after a while. Because you can never put the "old clothes" on again...they were "burned".

I always think before talking or writing. These comments represent me being nice.