Friday, August 6, 2010

Musings: The Sacred and the Profane

We’re in the height of summer now, with mangoes ripening on the table, yellow ginger blooming in the yard and the sun rising progressively later, which means that when Koko and I go out walking in the morning, the light is murky, as it was today.

A few pink-edged white clouds floated among splotches of gray in a sky that was neither black nor blue, dark nor light. And then the sun nosed up over the horizon and the world quickly turned golden and bright.

Not so bright is Mayor Bernard Carvalho’s decision to sign the new transient vacation rental (TVR) bill, according to a “media statement” posted on the county’s website at 5:30 p.m. yesterday — the evening before a furlough Friday, when all the county folks will be conveniently out of their offices and so won’t have to deal with calls from the pesky pissed-off public.

It’s no surprise he doesn’t have the political courage to veto the bill, which will give an untold number of people the golden opportunity to legitimize a use that is illegal under state law and thus add as much as 40 percent to the value of their property. Heck, he may not even understand the legal ramifications. However, there's no excuse for packaging his support with disingenuous language:

It allows the facts to be entered into the record and for the Planning Commission to make a decision based on those facts including whether they had a bona fide farming operation prior to March 2008.

Unfortunately, since Councilman Tim Bynum watered down the bill by removing mandatory inspections of the properties, we won’t really have all the facts about an application. And thanks to a loophole introduced by Councilman Daryl Kaneshiro, the Commission can — and no doubt will, given their past actions — approve TVRs on ag land without any farm operation.

Meanwhile, I’ve got a follow up on Tuesday’s post about the dubious legacy of Michele and Justin Hughes, whom I sure will be among those bellying up to the bar to get their own high-end fake farm TVRs approved. They’ve asked for a 180-day extension to the requirement that they either remediate the illegal coastal trail they made above Kauapea Beach, or apply for an after-the-fact Conservation District Use Permit.

The six-month extension, which the BLNR will consider at its Aug. 12 meeting, ostensibly will give the Hugheses “time to complete a thorough Environmental Assessment to accompany the application.” Or sell the property, which is being aggressively marketed.

However, I noticed a discrepancy in the documents. According to minutes from the March 11 BLNR meeting, the Board voted to levy a $7,500 fine against the Hugheses and give them four months or 120 days to remediate or apply — double the time recommended by staff. Yet the staff submittal on the extension request states the Board gave them 160 days to comply. I’m not sure what’s up with that.

But one thing is clear: these landowners are masters at dragging stuff out to suit their purposes. The investigation into this matter began back in March 2007, and this extension will take them up to March 2011, with no guarantee that even then it will be resolved, or that the Hugheses will still be the landowners.

To borrow some lyrics from Steve Miller: “go on, take the money and run. They got the money, yeah, you know they got away.”

I can’t leave you on that bitter note, though, so I’m going to direct you to the Honolulu Weekly piece I wrote about Kehau Kekua. She discusses the role of the sacred and the profound in land use discussions, as opposed to the usual just plain profane, and offers insight into traditional Hawaiian belief systems and practices, including the importance of place and the reasons why burials need to be preserved in place.

You just might learn a thing or two. I know I did.


Anonymous said...

and so won’t have to deal with calls from the pesky pissed-off public

All six of them.

Anonymous said...

I guess you didn't see the petitions that were circulated. A lot more than 6 people are pissed-off.

Anonymous said...

Bernard don't give a damn.

Anonymous said...

Mahalo piha Joan for the nice piece on Kehau. It is very easy to become disheartened about the negative changes occurring on Kauai especially for those of us born and raised who have witnessed the drastic change over the last 40 years. It is helpful to heed what she says about our activism reflecting who we are as Hawaiian through pule and oli. It maintains that spiritual connection to our kupuna where much of our strength comes from and our connection to the aina that energizes and feeds us.

The article helped to lesson the frustation about Bernard who did exactly what I knew he would do.

Anonymous said...

They are just doing their jobs.

They are voted in to provide jobs, security and income to the people who vote for them. And as one of the larger employers on an island with limited oppertunities they are keeping thir people afloat.

This is a valuable service.

Wahine Warrior said...

As an Oli chanter and cultural practitioner for 30 years, when we all participated in the vigil for Wailua, I was one of the participating Chanters.

It was so amazing to have shared that experience all together as Kumus. Those who weren't in attendence, I can't explain what happened except to say it was deeply profound. It did a lot for me to say keep up the fight.

I was impressed with the stamina of everyone, as we kept it up for 24 hours. Kehau kept up the pace and the momentum, and her halau is to be commended for their efforts

Thanks, Joan for bringing a spotlight onto the true practioners of the culture, as the culture is often watered down, profaned, slandered, misused and misrepresented so often.

There are so many fakers, frauds, and cheats out there who have no business performing or even speaking about the culture. I may sound bitter myself about that, but that is facts. People don't like to hear that, they just want everyone to blow fluff up their a$$, but i don't do that. I tell it like it is.

Far too often for me, and everyone who knows me knows I am extremely vocal about that, and I am extremely strict when it comes to the culture. Present it correctly or not at all.

So I was impressed, when at the vigil, Kehau put her students under kapu. this is not done often enough anymore and i wish every halau would get serious about bringing back the old ways and traditions.

On another note, please join myself and as many people as you can round up to go to the Mayors Office on Monday morning to protest the signing of the bill. And please make it more then six, people. I would hate for that poster to be correct.

*shivers at the thought*

on another positive note:

This promises to be a beautiful weekend. We plan on getting out there and enjoying it. aloha

Anonymous said...

Is Wahine Warrior even a native Hawaiian?

Lehua K said...

No wahine warrior is not Hawaiian, but she sure makes a lot of claims and proclaims authority as if she knows or does as they do. I was at the November vigil. The kumu Joan writes about is the real deal. WW has the nerve to refer to herself as one of kumu. She wishes. On a more positive note: Mahalo Joan for the great article, I appreciate how you delivered the story mostly through Kumu Kehaulani's words. The substance of deep understanding of Wailua and Hawaiian cultural practice is much appreciated. Why did the story run in an O`ahu paper and not Kaua`i?

Anonymous said...

On another note, please join myself and as many people as you can round up to go to the Mayors Office on Monday morning to protest the signing of the bill. And please make it more then six, people. I would hate for that poster to be correct.

that would be five more than attended your Sarah Palin book burning.

Anonymous said...

why bring WW down because she doesn't have the koko? Hanai of a family was considered family and if raised in the culture I have no problem with her practicing it. Hawaiian Kingdom time and before Hawaiians were not exclusive. If WW believes/supports our actions welcome it as we need support from all corners.

Joan Conrow said...

OK, let's stay focused on the topics of the post and not turn this into a discussion about WW.

Thanks for the positive comments about the HW article. To answer Lehua K: "Why did the story run in an O`ahu paper and not Kaua`i?"

Because there is no paper on Kauai (and no other paper on Oahu) that would run a story like that. Support independent media!

Anonymous said...

I voted for Bernard against my instincts because my Hawaiian friends (not all) supported him.

I see now that I was right and he is another lackey. He is now trying to prove himself to the ʻdemandingʻ and arrogant haoles.

Tsk tsk. I will vote for almost anyone else now. He showed his inability to think independently.

Anonymous said...

I think a discussion about people who act like they are kanaka maoli is relevant. There are many fakes who call themselves a kumu, a kahu, a cultural practitioner. People accept them because they are brown but don't have a speck of koko in them. He was not raised by Hawaiians or has Hawaiian blood, yet he claims areas of land, has newspaper articles written about his spirituality and drives around with Hawaiian Nation vehicle tags. He talks about how his entire mission in life is to "teach children" yet he abused his family, threatened to kill an 8 year old child and ruins the life of that haole family forever. Breaks it apart with violence, racism, hate, misogyny and torture. Then, he attacks that same child as an adult, physically assaulting them, gouges and scrapes their car with a weapon and then lies to the police so the child gets arrested. Then they lie to the police again and give them the wrong name so his real name isn't even in the Garden Island. Then, he continues to harass the child by staring down and intimidating her in public. Tell me, do you want your Hawaian culture represented by a man who would call a woman a f*cking b*tch and a f*cking c*nt? Do you want a liar representing you who threatens to kill a child, to tie her to a tree and beat her face with rocks and sticks so that her own Mother won't even recognize her? Is this what the Hawaiian culture represents? What happened to the concept of pono or aloha? Some people want independence for the right reasons, others just hate haoles.

Anonymous said...

You can vote for your favorite Council candidates here:

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous,this guy you describe simply sounds like a psyco extreme. There is nothing in your posting that convinces me that I would look to this person as a leader. There are many who want to be leaders - koko or not. And yes, many call themselves kumu, kahu, and cultural practitioners. The proof is in the examples, values and practices that the individual lives his/her life by. Sounds like a wanna-be and a very angry person with pilikia inside and out. Please don't confuse or get distracted by outward displays of claim.

Anonymous said...

Respecting and supporting another culture is fine. Joan is an admirable example But Whitebread Warrior's problem is she moves right in and colonizes the host culture. It's offensive the way she lectures everyone, white, black or brown and calls herself by cultural honorifics. It's fine for her to participate in cultural practices when invited, but she forgets she is a guest.

Anonymous said...

August 8, 2010 5:02 AM

very off topic but is WW the same white lady as the one on Saturday at the market that flashes her Hawaiian Nation photo ID and preaches Hawaiian Nation and a Christian God at you if you dare buy produce from her stand? She is voice of support for her colonized group, just not sure I would want her kind of support.

Anonymous said...

"I will vote for almost anyone else now."

pot supporting hippy lady will be happy to hear it.

Wahine Warrior said...

August 8, 2010 5:02 AM

Oh here we go again. The old "she has white blood so she can't do the culture routine." Its getting really old. The only ones that do that are the ones who have no idea what they are talking about. Or do not know me from a hole in the ground. They just "assume" things.

Nice post. too bad you have no idea what you are talking about, Nor do you know me nor anything about me. It is quite hilarious that you call me whitebread, since I am a mixed blood person,I am white, half white that is true. My mother, apperently was pure Irish. Hence the skin tone. Boy I sure have had to defend my poor mothers nationality a lot. I wonder if poor Princess Kaiulani had the same problem with her pure scottish fathers blood. Woundn't it be hilarious if she were alive today and someone said: bv "But your a haole, you can't be the princess!! You're father is pure white!!". LOL Ignorance is bliss I guess.

The other side of me is indigenous, and if you knew my backstory you would be highly ashamed of yourself. And I haver been one hundred percent hanai to Hawaiians since I was 12 years old, and have lived and breathed this culture. For your information, I WAS invited here, and HAVE BEEN invited to participate in many things. To be technical, if you are Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, Puerto Rican and Portuguese you are a guest here too, and have been a part of colonisation. I myself was a 60's scoop child. But you, with all your knowledge about me have no clue as to what I am or who I am. As for what I was doing at that event. I was an invited participant. and it is hilarious actually the rest of your post. Why don't you just find out about someone before you run around and make assumptions on who and what I am, what I know and where I have a right to be? And oh yea, please don't let me crack out my list of people that have PURE caucasian blood that work within the culture, are legitimate cultural practitioners and have lots of credibility doing so, from Hawaiian language teachers to the Merrie Monarch Hula competition. Before u speak, check yourself. Your ignorance is amazing. But then , ignorance can be blissful.

Oh, and usual, please feel free to walk up to me in public and introduce yourself as the person that made your post, as I invite everyone to do when they write stupid stuff about me. Funny thing is, though they never do.

Anonymous said...

"The other side of me is indigenous"

Indigenous, like, Cherokee?

Wahine Wrrior said...

Wow, anonymous u seem to have all sorts of knowledge about me. Its too bad you have no idea what you are talking about.

Because every once in a while someone like you does actually come up to me and make those same comments, and I have to explain ad nauseum, yes I have white blood, but no I am indigenous, yes I am hanai since I am 12 years old, blah blah blah, why don't u just go to credible people within the culture who are revered Kumus or elders and ask them about me? Oh wait, no you just make up your own fairy fantasy stories about me. Jealous? because that is usually the case with people who run around and fake what they know and straight up lie, then get really angry when someone says no thats not right, this is the truth. . Especially when they have been lining their own pockets on lies. I am about truth, not fiction. Why don't you go ask the people of Niihau about me? Or how about Uncle Nathan Kalama? How about Maoliola Cook? Bet she would LOVE your post. Because she is PURE caucasian, and a respected Kumu within the Hawaiian culture and has been here far less years then I have. Or how about Kumu Ka'imi at KCC who is pure caucasian and teaches Hawaiin language, history, culture and ethnobotany? See? Ignorance. I Apperently you are an ignorant and jealous person who cannot stand that someone with some white blood may have some legitimate knowledge. Because of your ignorance you spew off stuff and you have no idea what you are talking about.

Before you judge a book by its the book and read it first.

Wahine Warrior said...

actually, 30 people attended that, and I have the pics to prove it. Oh and we had a GREAT time, too!! lol.

Wahine Warrior said...

August 8, 2010 10:13 AM

Nope. No cherokee. Sorry. LOL

If you want to know about my history and story you can wait for the book to come out...or the movie.

If you want to know more about me, since you seem so obsessed with me, go ahead and read about my backstory if you want to on my blog. other then that pa'a ka wa'a/ aloha

Wahine Warrior said...

Sorry for that double posting lol

I knew I was gonna get the trolls on all of that. :P:

Wahine Warrior said...

No, I am not that lady and have no idea who you are talkjkng about LOL.

My name is Anne Punohu. if everyone on this blog does not already know that.

You can google me. I am not this person at all. LOL

For Lehua, if you were at that vigil, and thank you for your comments. Frankly how rude. Please feel free to introduce yourself to me. I remember every face at that vigil. Lovely that you also make assumptions about me, and further, what you are doing right now is very hewa. If you have questions about me, then ask me personally. Don't start inventing your own stories about me, If you want to say things about me then say them directly to me. DO not hide behind a blog.

Feel free to contact me at Or call me at 332-0341. And that goes for any of the rest of you as well, that have issues with who or what you think I am.

Kaulana said...

Hey, leave my mom alone.

Shanarae Kaulananapuaikaikamaolino Donovan.

And I am Native Hawaiian. Anne is my mom. That is very rude.


Punohu's Politics,Environment and Culture said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lehua K said...

WW, Anne Punohu, whatever. I have no problem w/anyone partcipating in or supporting the Hawaiian culture - Hawaiian or non-Hawaiian! But don't speak with authority or align yourself as a kumu or cultural expert.
Pa`a ka wa`a means, "make firm the canoe". I think you meant, "paha ka waha". A kumu or even a beginning `Olelo Hawai`i student knows the difference between mouth and a canoe. And by golly, especially how to spell one word vs the other. Go rattle off on your own blog. You always have a way of bombarding Joan's with all of your "expertise" and about yourself. Boring.

And BTW, He Hawai`i au.

irk said...

noisy is the crab bucket
take it outside until dinner

Wahine Warrior said...

No actually I meant what I wrote. Think about it. before u go on another rant.

I am not rude to write Pa'a Ka Waha.

I meant make hard the canoe, instead of softening it with all of this ridiculous mush that you haters are spilling all over the place. If you want to make the culture solid, then stop chewing at it with your prejudice and hate.

And If you want to know about my knowlege with Olelo, feel free to ask the Beniamina Ohana, as I was the MC for her Funeral, and spoke in fluent Olelo there.

As usual, u speak without knowlege. If you know about the poetic ways of the culture, you would have known what I meant.

now get over it and yourself.

Wahine Warrior said...

one last note, and then I have a life to get back to: once again, I have put up my phone number and my email address. If you want to continue and debate this, fine. But call me up or email me, stop doing it on Joans blog.

I am not afraid of speaking with any of you, since some of you seem particularly interested in me, while hiding behind anonymity. I have nothing to hide, because I am pono with myself, my world, and my kupuna.


bring it on.

Anonymous said...

So ww, are you native Hawaiian or not? I'm guessing not since you refuse to state outright but instead pussy foot around it all cagey like.

(the cat was never in the bag about who u are)

Anonymous said...

I got it...she's not but has been raised immersed in the culture by those who are. She has more cultural sensitivity than say our Mayor or our Planning Director who are of the koko but disregard iwi kupuna...

Blood quantum has always been a divisive tool. How much? Not enough. No more. Why attack someone whose heart/intentions are good? Why derail a story about Kehau and make it about
Who is of authority and who isn't. You missed the message of the story.

Anonymous said...

WW: Stop with the name dropping. You shouldn't have put yourself above of others in the first place by ranting on the "fakers, frauds, and cheats out there who have no business performing or even speaking about the culture." Should've just stayed on point with the discussion and not turned it to your "I have the right to judge and critique other because I was hanai'd by Hawaiians" self.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and stop posing under anony to back yourself and your position!

Anonymous said...

It's called sock puppetry.

Anonymous said...

Then whats with the "has white blood" and "The other side of me is indigenous" crap? That's dishonest!

Anonymous said...

I always listen to what Anne has to say! I've watched her pretty much grow up here, and am glad that her daughter defended her on this blog.

I have not seen Kaulana or her sister since they were babies. It is always nice to hear from our young people!

Anonymous said...

Right Warrior Wahine Ann. Your a fan of yourself. Let it go.

Anonymous said...

Back to the original topic posted by Joan....

We knew that the elected officials would sell us out. We need to get this issue on the ballot & at the same time pursue this in the courts. Both needs to be done because the court system can take too long. Remember the Nukoli'i court case where the court system took so long, the developers "vested" can nothing could be done in time.

Joan: do you know any good attorneys who might take this issue up?


Anonymous said...

I love it. White people who think themselves superior to actual hawaiians.

Anonymous said...

It's called "going native." like Kevin Costner in Dances With Wolves. The self conscious identification with and adopting of a romanticized vision of a host culture.

Anonymous said...

Urban Dictionary: wanna be: a person who acts like someone that they are not. also see moron.

Anonymous said...

You know how that kids are any attention, even if it's negative.

Anonymous said...

Showing support for WW... don't take the negative comments to heart, there are a very few people who make it their job to dis anyone who dares to stand up for the people or truth... or against the monied interests. They have no real life apparantly and spend their time making nasty personal comments. Notice they always make the bad comments personally, we are either dumb Hawaiians with no future, or wannabe Hawaiians, and are penalized if our skin is light or (horrors) white. Whether we are pink or purple or white or brown does not matter, we all live here, we are all human beings and some of us care about more than ourselves.
WW, it has been fun watching you mature and you have not only the right, but the responsibility to stand up for the people, culture and the land. Mahalo WW, and all the other warriors who speak truth to power

Anonymous said...

Get a life. Are you pure Hawaiian? DO you have any blood other than Hawaiian in you, and do the culture? You guys should really shut up.
If you read what Wahine Warrior actually wrote, she was saying what these other people that were reaming her are. That there are liars and fakers and frauds doing You don't even know her. There are lots of people that aren't Hawaiian that do the culture. Did you know that Uncle George Na'ope's alaka'i is pure haole but he hanai'd him? Did you also know that Pele Sugunuma didn't have a drop of Hawaiian blood? Do you know that Queen Liliuokalani's most favorite and beloved person Henry Berger spoke, read, and arranged all of the Queens songs, and he didn't have a drop of Hawaiian blood? How about her husband? Pure haole. How about Princess Kaiulani's father? Pure haole. How about the Robinsons? All haole's. Yet they speak with authority. Are the Robinsons "wannabees"". Did they "go native"? Yet all of these people spoke with authority and had/have status among the Hawaiian people.

Were they too "going native", and "pretending to be something they are not"? As far as I know, Anne has never claimed to be Native Hawaiian. She claims to be indigenous, which she is by the way.
She didn't come here because she had some airy fairy hippie new age dream like a lot of these other people coming here do. She was hanai'd. So how is that "going native" or "pretending to be something you are not."
There are lots of others who are also not Hawaiian and are "speaking with authority" about the culture, such as Maoliola Cook and Ka'imi from Kcc Hawaiian Studies Program, like Anne brought up. Those people do not have a drop of Hawaiian blood. Yet one is a Kumu Hula, and the other a Hawaiian Language, Ethnobotany teacher. So, do you people think they should stop what they are doing because of your small mindedness?
I know so many people that are absolutely legitimate, accepted in the culture and they aren't pretending at all. They are the real deal. I also know Kumu hulas who are pure Filipino. Not a drop of Hawaiian blood. There are Kumu's from Japan. No Hawaiian blood there either.
What I think is particularly poignant, is that someones child had to get on here and defend her mother from some of these posters. I think that should be a red flag to all of you. You really don't know who you are offending when you write stuff you know nothing about. You might be offending someones mother, sister, aunt, cousin, uncle, nephew or son.

Anonymous said...

shame on you, I know Anne she has never claimed to be Native Hawaiian, and is not a wannabee or someone who is going native. She is a hanai, a for real person and the real thing. Lots of people that aren't Hawaiian do the culture.

Anonymous said...

This whole "blood" thing is ridiculous.

Someone doesn't inherit any special relationship with the land or culture genetically. It's totally a learned behavior. There could be black, chinese, norwegian, etc "true cultural practitioners" and language/history masters.

I doubt there are, but I don't know. Any of those ethnic or racial groups born and raised in generations-old Hawaiian language/cultural families as hanai?

If so, they would be just a "real" as a full-blooded Hawaiian.

How about a full-blooded or large-blooded Hawaiian raised on the mainland with no knowledge of language or culture or desire to go that route?

Nothing wrong with that, either.

The "blood quantum" issue means nothing...other than maybe someday defining you as a potential member of the Hawaiian "tribe" to be defined by the Akaka Bill or, if you're a Native American, the degree to which you could benefit from Indian casino riches...

Anonymous said...

WW=Ann P=Anony over and over writing under different IDs to support her claim that she is a kumu, expert of Hawaiian culture, cultural practitioner is pathetic. Your mana`o and how you blab on and on is so obvious. Just throw in the towel and get a life. You have this thing about name-dropping and its ridiculous. Go on and do as you do but stop tooting your horn for recognition or acceptance. That's the problem here, you insist on being credited for something you're not. LET IT GO.

Anonymous said...

sock puppet: A fake personality, usually a 'friend' or 'sister,' created by a drama queen/king for the sake of defending him/herself against others in an online forum.

The Urban Dictionary

Anonymous said...

If Anneʻs purpose was to take this blog to herself because nobodyʻs on hers, she succeeded.

I am sorry for Joan as she may not fully realize this personʻs vindictive capabilities.

Anonymous said...

You people are ridiculous. All of you should let it go.

Anonymous said...

Lots of people that aren't Hawaiian do the culture.

"Do the culture"

Anonymous said...

Sounds so gang-related.

Do the Culture

Flash the Signs

Wear the Colors

Be Representin' (or just "Represent")

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Damn mispelling!


Gangstawiians do the culture...they represent.

Anonymous said...

Especially the tita gangstawiians.

Anonymous said...

OK...working on Gangstawiian Rap now...stay tuned...

It's sure to hyperbolize all negative Hawaiian stereotypes.

Joan Conrow said...

OK, that's enough on all this.