See What We Can No Longer See, Hear What We Can No Longer Hear

By Keomailani Hanapi Hirata

A Pu was blown from deep within our ‘aina kupuna o Molokai, vibrating from Komohana. The kahea was felt and answered; from the east, Mililani Hanapi, Keo Hanapi-Hirata and La’akea Poepoe; from the north, Keoki and Miki’ala Pescaia; from the south, Kawehi Soares; from Moku o Keawe, Halealoha Ayau. Nahulu and Pulama Maioho could not be with us this day but sent their mana with us. Within one week, and with the support of Molokai Ranch management and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) Molokai, we planned our visit to Mo’omomi. None of us were prepared for the ‘eha and kaumaha we were walking into. Desecration to our tutu’s and kupuna’s final resting places and their iwi, our native plants damaged, the homes of our native birds collapsed, destruction by man. 

On the morning of Sept. 22, we gathered at Anahaki, on the ‘aina of ‘Ohana Helm. We stood in a circle all of us prepared with our own mana, with one focus: to malama our iwi kupuna, to malama our tutus that have come before us. We were joined by Russell and Wailana of TNC. 

As the tears ran down the face of Kumu Mililani Hanapi as she spoke of how we know that as time goes on being Hawaiian would change but never should we ever compromise or forget our kuleana to our ancestors who have come before us, for it is their iwi, their names that have given us life today, have given us land to call our own. We must honor and respect who we are as Kanaka maoli. As the oli and pule was given by Miki’ala, not a dry eye in the circle, we stood straight and said, “hele makou!” Two TNC trucks loaded with the mana of thousands of our ancestors, made its way to Molokai komohana, to Mo’omomi. 

To our aloha ‘aina poet, Kanohowailuku Helm, we love you. You will always be a part of our hui, to walk with us as we continue to malama kuleana of our iwi kupuna. 

“We were born into the sea, e ho’i mai, e lono Makahiki…We were taught to love this land, it’s not so hard to understand.” 

Part two to follow in a later issue of the Molokai Dispatch. 


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