Friday, February 28, 2014

Tika & Hawaiian Cemeteries

When Handy Man and I returned from Maui, of course Tika was overjoyed to see us. After all the obligatory doggie kisses, and after we were all "squared away" (Handy Man's old Navy term), I settled Tika into the chair next to me and told her what I'd learned about Hawaiian cemeteries.

It's not particularly good news. More and more development is terribly encroaching on ancient as well as newer cemeteries or burial grounds. Here is one just a bit north of Lahina, squashed between the highway and the beach, and you can clearly see what is happening:

This last one has a lei made from those old pop-top cans. Yes, the place looks a bit neglected but that is not the point. On a busy beach day the cars would park everywhere if not held back by those ropes.

A local newspaper carried this tidbit:  "One of the reasons land developers tend to get bad press is that their hotels, resorts and shopping centers often disturb the remains of those who lived here before the arrival of Westerners. The general rule is that any bones (iwi) found during construction must stay where found. If that can't happen, then those who dug them up must rebury them as close as possible to their original site.

Apparently, this plan of action, which is actually part of state law, isn't working too well, because now the state Senate is kicking around (a new bill) which proposes that we simply bury all the bones we can't really find a place for over on Kaho'olawe.

Hawaii's Senate is considering a bill that would designate the island of Kahooalwe as the resting place for unknown or inadvertently discovered Hawaiian bones when those remains cannot be buried nearby."

(This was copied into the local newspaper from an AP story reported on 31 Jan 2014.)

Tika thought that sounded like a good idea; what do YOU think of such a proposal? What if your state designated a specific place for the common reburial of Native American remains???

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