But even that's not enough. Now the state also wants to “deface our Makana,” Bobo Ham-Young, a member of Hui O Maka`ainana O Makana, said on KKCR yesterday afternoon.
Makana. The distinctive peak that Hollywood turned into “Bali Hai,” the mountain that Hawaiians have begun climbing again, resurrecting the ancient tradition of throwing firebrands into the sea.
Remember how the state closed Kalalau Valley and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars blasting pohaku off the cliff face so rocks wouldn't fall on people? Well, that's the plan now for Makana, especially in the area above the "wet cave." Except the model is apparently closer to what they're doing along the road leading into Hanalei Valley, where the cliffside has been systematically dismantled so as to push it further away from the highway.
“The spikes, everything happening in Hanalei, they want to bring it down and do it here,” Bobo said. “They want to go and do this for the safety of the tourists to prevent rocks falling down from Makana and everything and hurting the tourists.”
“Who are they to come over here and deface our most sacred mountain we have over here?” he asked. “It's like one of the seven wonders of Hawaii.”
And people wonder why so many kanaka are huhu and grieving, why there's so much aggro energy on the North Shore.
Bobo said that he and some others at the meeting told the state “it's a no go,” but the state reportedly has $320,000 burning a hole in its pocket — federal money it has to spend or lose. It's unclear whether the state will “go back to the drawing board” as some residents directed.
“What is significant to you, you have to protect,” Bobo said.
Earlier, Nani Rogers had called into the radio station and asked Councilman Tim Bynum why the County didn't have a cultural committee. She envisioned a panel of kanaka who could advise the county on matters of cultural importance, so as to avoid conflicts like the one over putting the Path on Wailua Beach.
It makes perfect sense — unless, of course, the county doesn't really want cultural concerns getting in the way of what it wants to do, like put the Path on the beach.
Tim said he would look into it, while noting the county does have a Historical Preservation Commission. Which is fine, except the emphasis is so often on preservation of structures (often post-contact) as opposed to spiritual preservation — protecting the landforms and places that have long been sacred to kanaka and are an integral part of the culture.
Just the other day I read an article by Pat Griffin advocating the county hire a historic preservation planner who could “create an inventory of cultural and historic sites countywide, then develop and coordinate a management plan for our heritage resources. That past is a prologue to our future. Now is the time to make its wise preservation a priority."
Ironically, Pat's husband, Tommy Noyes, is the foremost proponent pushing for the Path on Wailua Beach.
We don't need more westerners or professional planners creating management plans for Hawaiian cultural sites. We need to start consulting kanaka first, and heed their wishes when they say, with pain in their voices, tears in their eyes, that an area is sacred and should not be desecrated.