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March to draw attention to the environment

By Staff | Jan 29, 2015


LAHAINA – As the Pleiades begin their arc across the Hawaiian sky in late October/early November, the ancient Hawaiian Makahiki season begins.

It is the time of Lono, the god of thunder, rain and harvest, extending over a four-month period through the time of rough seas, high winds and heavy rains, until the setting of the Pleiades in late February/ early March.

As the Makahiki season comes to a close in 2015, Na ‘Aikane o Maui Cultural Center (Lahaina) is hosting a march of unity – Ka’apuni 2015 – commencing Feb. 28 in Moku’ula at midnight for the ceremonial lighting of the torch (kukui) and ending on March 7 for a traditional celebration after a seven-day/night circumnavigation of the island.

Spearheading the awareness campaign is Ke’eaumoku Kapu, Native Hawaiian leader and cultural specialist.

Kapu has plenty of experience in organizing a demonstration of this magnitude. In 2009, over 2,000 participated in the 197-mile cultural, cross-island trek.

Ke‘eaumoku Kapu (at left) helped coordinate a 197-mile trek in 2009.

In a flyer announcing the Ka’apuni 2015, Kyle Nakanelua, Po’o moku o Kahekili, wrote: “It is the end of the Makahiki season, the season of the winter solstice. The time when the rains enable us to be conscious and contemplative. We have spent this time being attentive to our environment, our economy and our lessons learned from our past. We have selected our goal, established our objectives and plotted our path for the active and construction period of Kau, our summer solstice. Let this huaka’i (journey) be a physical manifestation of what we are dedicating ourselves to – the conscious and mature effort.”

At a meeting held last week Friday at the Na ‘Aikane center in the heart of historic Lahaina next to Moku’ula, the island sanctuary of kings, Kapu issued this call, “Ho’olu komo la kaua (please join us)!”

The march is inclusive; all are welcome to participate for any distance. Kapu said, “Kanaka, malihini, our visitors from the Mainland; if they got the urge to walk, I’ll walk with ’em.”

“We need to do an assessment on how our resources are being cared for,” Kapu explained.

“We all need to observe our environment together; not just the maka’ainana (commoners) – everybody,” he stressed.

“That’s why I e-mailed our county and state representatives, inviting them to join us,” he added.

Kupuna and keiki will be joining the ranks of the walkers.

Hawaiian studies teacher Wilmont Kamaunu Kahaialii advised, “There is an interest in getting the Sacred Hearts School children involved in the march.”

Na Kupuna O Maui supports the traditions of the season.

“We hope it will bring an awareness to all Hawaiians and Hawaiians at heart,” commented Aunty Patty Nishiyama of Na Kupuna O Maui.

“The issues that we face together about our threatened resources,” Aunty Patty continued, “water, land rights and land mismanagement are universal to all our residents. Anyone who has aloha for the Hawaiian people and Hawaii Nei, come and join us.”

Kapu voiced concern about the current state of affairs and is looking toward a healing: “A lot is happening right now. It seems like the land is talking to us. Somebody out there is saying, ‘Enough is enough already.’ The lava is still going, and then you get that big wind that came down and ripped the whole side of the island (Big Island) – the hurricane.

“If we don’t do something now,” Kapu spoke out, adding, “we need to get back to the streets again, try to network and raise hope.”

Traditional closing ceremonies are planned at Moku’ula on March 7.

Kapu has promised a “big bang celebration” with entertainment, games, food, dance and farmers’ market.

He reminded the gathering at the meeting that Ka’apuni 2015 is a nonpolitical awareness demonstration.

“Leave your banners, flags and signs at home,” Kapu said.

“We gotta look to the source,” Aunty Patty explained, “our ancestors to help with our future generations.”

For more information, e-mail Kapu at Keeaumoku_kapu@yahoo.com.