See What We Can No Longer See, Hear What We Can No Longer Hear… Part Two
By Keomailani Hanapi Hirata
As we drove down the dusty dirt road leading to Molokai Komohana, to Mo’omomi, the view of our Wahi Pana of Kawa’aloa, Kaiehu, Keonelele, Kalani, and Kapalauoa, made us smile with humbleness. We could see and hear our kupuna welcoming us. Birds playing and circling around us, the gentle and comfortable sea winds blowing around us, sounds of the oceans, the taste of the salt in the air, the rich colors of life all around us, this is our Kupuna greeting us with their Oli Komo. Kumu Mililani Hanapi went straight to the shoreline and gave an Oli aloha. Miki’ala looked straight up at the sky and put her arms out and smiled to the heavens. We all started walking the coastline and shoreline, smiling and sharing the great mo’olelos of these places. Miki’ala sharing how the wings of the giant hihimanu named Pahukai made the sand dunes of Keonelele. Kumu Mililani shared of one of the great mo’olelo of Kalaina Wawae, how she stomped her feet and prophesied the coming of the white man to our shores. We each were being careful to not disturb our Kupuna.
As we all separated to check on our Kupuna’s final resting places, we saw the desecration of tracks from all-terrain vehicles, dirt bikes, and trucks. These different tire tracks crossed all over our Wahi Pana; crossing over burials and exposing iwi of our Tutus and Kupuna, smashing and uprooting endangered native plants and collapsing seabird nests. As we started to meet up with each other, our faces all showed the ‘eha and kaumaha of the desecration to our Wahi Pana. Our conversations started to turn into, “how do we educate our people, to remind them of the greatness they come from and the greatness within them?”
“Our kupuna spared the fertile lands for the next generation to grow food – uala in Ho’olehua. They did this by burying their dead in the sands of Mo’omomi. Now, their bones are trampled, dug up and damaged by their descendants. How can someone claim to exercise rights by literally running over those who they claim to inherit such rights from?” said Miki’ala Ayau Pescaia.
Read Part Three in a later issue of the Molokai Dispatch.