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Protect Mauna Kea: Kumu Mike Lee’s Mana’o

Can you imagine a world that replaced violence with words?

Since April, protectors of Mauna Kea have embodied Kapu Aloha, an ancient practice inspired by our kupuna, using compassion and Aloha with great intention as a response to the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT). June 24, hundreds gathered at Mauna Kea to block the passage of TMT construction trucks. Hawaiian chants and prayers filled the misty air and the protectors stood strong for the sacred mountain. 31 people were arrested, and in many ways, it was beautiful. The continued display of Aloha is a spark for the world, showing all what it looks like to stand in unity, and to fight with love. Protectors of Mauna Kea
Kumu Mike Lee’s mana’o helps us understand the real-and-now significance of protecting Mauna Kea, not only as a sacred space but also as a symbol of harmony and sustainability.
This movement is about awakening a spiritual essence in people, and is rooted in ancient wisdom that fuels us with Aloha and a deep knowing of what is right. Kumu Mike Lee paints us a picture: Hiapo is the eldest brother of the family, the chosen keeper of wisdom who holds the greatest responsibility. Our sacred Mauna Kea is the Hiapo, the eldest brother, for the mountains of the world. Mauna Kea is revered as the most sacred mountain by all of Polynesia, representing abundance and the water of life. All our ancestors of the mountain are water beings. Lilinoe, the goddess of the mist, and Poliahu, goddess of the snow, control the broad path of the source—that is, the surface water, the rivers and streams that carry life to the ocean, to everything (and everyone) in its path. Tutu Pele controls the lava tubes—artesian spring waters that run beneath the surface from mountain to sea. And for as long as the sea spray condenses on the mountains and native forests bring clean air and water together, the beauties of the natural world can continue to ensure the sustainability of the whole island. This system represents harmony as a model of sustainability and living in harmony with the land. Traditionally, the papa kilo hoku and the kahuna ‘o maka (masters of the stars and sky) make sure that balance is being maintained for all life and for future generations. The sky is so sacred that in studying the stars, kahuna ‘o maka would never look up, out of humility, but instead into his waihaka—water gourd—to see its reflection. For cultural practitioners, Mauna Kea is not only a sacred space, but also a symbol of the balance and harmony that sustains life. Every culture has historically pilgrimaged to a sacred space, to be spiritually activated, and to maintain that these sacred sites themselves stay activated. For it is through such activation that we might live in harmony with the land and with one another.
Do we choose to accept that a Thirty Meter Telescope won’t affect our sacred mountain?
Kumu’s mana’o also reminds us that Mauna Kea is sensitive to metals, they being stuff of the earth. Each mountain is created from a different make-up of earth elements, and in each one, there are specialized crystals that protect the mountain from massive bursts of gas and magnetic field released into the solar wind (called coronal mass ejections). When this process is disturbed by the different pull of the metals being embedded into the mountain (via, say, telescopes), it creates an imbalance in the mountain’s natural rhythms, and the heat and flow of magma is effected. Tons of metal burrowed into the summit will of course change the energetic reactions of the mountain. This kind of disruption in the natural harmony of the ‘aina is not Hawaiian.
We cannot be passive against the destruction of our most sacred values. Kumu Mike Lee and the protectors of Mauna Kea have shown that the answer is harmony, unity, and aloha.
Take action for Mauna Kea. Get involved by signing this petition urging Governor Ige to put an end the TMT project. Join the Online March from wherever you are. Join the conversation on Facebook, and learn more about the sacred space at Check out these videos to see for yourself – This is history in the making: Mauna Kea and the Occupied Hawaiian Kingdom Mauna Kea TMT Blockade Arrests Mauna Kea TMT Showdown June 24 (Part 1 of 3)

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