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Hawaiians urged to register to have say on iwi by rail line

By Associated Press


The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation is reaching out to Native Hawaiians whose ancestors may be buried along a proposed rail line from the west side of Oahu to downtown.

HART held the first in a series of meetings Thursday to discuss recent discoveries of bones, or iwi kupuna, in the city center area and along Nimitz Highway, according to Hawaii News Now.

Transportation officials are encouraging possible descendant families to file claims and register with the State Historic Preservation Division to have a say in what happens to iwi kupuna that are found.

HART has recently sped up the digging of trenches to satisfy a Hawaii Supreme Court ruling to complete the archaeological process before any rail construction can resume.

“We had a plan and a schedule that had us completing all the trenching work around the end of February. But it now looks like with the acceleration, we’re going to be able to wrap this up, the trenching activity, by the end of the year,” said HART CEO Dan Grabauskas.

Grabauskas has said that utilities and pillars for the $5.26 billion elevated rail line could still be moved to protect the bones, according to Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii has a stringent state law protecting graves. The 1990 law prohibits removing, destroying or altering any burial sites except as permitted by the state and local burial councils. If a construction project encounters bones, the work must stop in the immediate area and authorities must be notified.

It’s important in Hawaiian culture to leave bones undisturbed because of the belief that people infuse their life force into the ground once they are buried. Since this process isn’t finished until the bones have dissolved, digging them up interrupts a person’s journey in the afterlife.

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NanakuliBoss wrote:
That is Pono of Hart to work hand in hand with the Hawaiians. That's why this is. First rate rail.
on November 11,2012 | 03:42AM
DiverDave wrote:
Has there been any DNA testing of the bones found? How can anyone readily say that these are Polynesians. Polynesians were only about 25% of the population back in the late 1800's. There could be many ethnicities represented other than just Polynesians. Why aren't others asked to take a part in the discussion by Hart?
on November 11,2012 | 01:36PM
8082062424 wrote:
First Hawaiians are native to these islands, Second a lot of the iwi found are dated to pre contact. third The law protects native Hawaiian burial sites. So no you do not get a say. And HART knew when they hit this area it would be grave yard central it where hundreds of native Hawaiian were buried. They have found Chiefs s and there family burial grounds in this area. Dna is good point but for the most part it would hurt HART not help them.When it comes back as native Hawaiians burial site it would give Hawaiians more power and also it would cost HARt more delays. That the very reason HART tried to push it forward fast with hope they could say we come to far to stop now. thanks to the courts not going to happen
on November 11,2012 | 04:50PM
DiverDave wrote:
Who are first "Hawaiians"? Are you speaking about Polynesians? Again, you have no facts. They may be precontact, but who are they? People are planted all over these islands. Why are there no other ethnicities requested to participate? And by the way, laws are always found to be discriminatory. Just because you have the votes doesn't mean you are not being racist!
on November 11,2012 | 09:37PM
DiverDave wrote:
We are all Natives of the planet Earth.
on November 11,2012 | 09:40PM
8082062424 wrote:
And since you do not even on oahu this really dose no impact you in any way.
on November 12,2012 | 05:09AM
8082062424 wrote:
upon contact it was native Hawaiians . facts speak for them selves. .The law protect native Hawaiian burial sites. this was there land and kingdom.. racist dave that be you. when i see some one digging uo punchbowl or diamond head cemetery or any other cemetery in the name of progress but they are not are they. these areas are native Hawaiian burial grounds same respect should be shown. why should any one else have a say on something that has nothing to do with there ancestors
on November 12,2012 | 05:06AM
DiverDave wrote:
Polynesians are not "native" to these islands. They may have got here a little sooner, that is all. You are only speculating until proper DNA testing is performed. You have no idea who these people may have been.
on November 12,2012 | 08:21AM
8082062424 wrote:
As i said facts speak for them selves. up contact say it all. you may not like it but it is what it is. as i stated a lot have been deem before contact burials. and we have laws to protect them from folks like you. you do not even live on Oahu . your anti anything native Hawaiian , DNA will hurt HART not help them
on November 12,2012 | 09:25AM
DiverDave wrote:
808: No you are the racist that believes that other ethnicities should be excluded from all decisions. We know nothing of these bones. Maybe they came from a Chinese or Japanese worker in the area. Who knows? Maybe they were murdered and buried there 10 years ago. Who knows? You must work at over coming your prejudice about the fact that everything in these islands revolves around Polynesian-Hawaiians.
on November 12,2012 | 08:56PM
8082062424 wrote:
why should other ethnicities have a say over Hawaiian iwi it not there ancestors ? some common sense can go a long way we have experts out there who know what they doing. other things are found buried with the iwi . Hart and the city knew when they hit that area it was grave yard central it was no big secret that where Hawaiians buried there love ones. . news flash that area very old those roads and streets are all over 10 years. the building are even older.Your the one who needs to over come your prejudice. this has nothing to do with you . your not native Hawaiian nor do you even live on this island. you just anti anything native Hawaiian your a sad man.
on November 13,2012 | 11:26AM
Kuniarr wrote:
HART should leave those bones alone. Period.
on November 11,2012 | 06:28PM
aomohoa wrote:
No, HART got caught not following the law and now they are forced too.
on November 11,2012 | 08:39PM
HiloBoy67 wrote:
Exactly. This is just to make itself look good, after HART lost its attempt to avoid this law.
on November 11,2012 | 08:50PM
Shh wrote:
That's because HART was hoping they could avoid following that part of the law. HART knew that the biggest barrier for getting the Rail project started would be the problems they are facing now. This is why they rush started the project in hopes to get as much done before they would get caught and have to stop the project. Well they got caught for not following the rules and now hoping that the Native Hawaiians will just let them finish what they started.
on November 13,2012 | 09:35AM
Anonymous wrote:
Make no bones about it, HART and it's executives have no heart and don't care about local traditions or local burials, they only care about the money they will be raking in from getting the transit rail project finished!
on November 11,2012 | 08:52PM
aomohoa wrote:
Sorry this comment was in the wrong place. It was in reference to NanakuliBoss comment!
on November 11,2012 | 08:53PM
aomohoa wrote:
No, HART got caught not following the law and now they are forced too.
on November 11,2012 | 08:52PM
false wrote:
Not signing up. Don't get to use Hawaiians for your convenience. Can't wait for lapu to follow G. around and sit on his chest at night. Then he will know.
on November 11,2012 | 05:05AM
bender wrote:
Sounds to me las if HART wants to co-opt those Hawaiians who might have a link to those buried along the rail route.
on November 11,2012 | 05:36AM
Ken_Conklin wrote:
Article says "It’s important in Hawaiian culture to leave bones undisturbed because of the belief that people infuse their life force into the ground once they are buried. Since this process isn’t finished until the bones have dissolved, digging them up interrupts a person’s journey in the afterlife." If that last sentence were true, then we should go ahead and dig the holes for the pillars right where the bones are. By crunching the bones we would grind them into dust, which would help the bones dissolve and thereby help the life force get infused into the ground.
on November 11,2012 | 05:18AM
8082062424 wrote:
the law is there to protect there rights. you may not like it but it is what it is
on November 11,2012 | 06:28AM
cojef wrote:
Great response. Dignity of our ancestors and their burials must be honored. If not, what is the merits of culture of our generation? Are we just beings without regard of feelings for our kin folks, like our "hunter gather" fore bearers?
on November 11,2012 | 06:38AM
false wrote:
Truth is the drill bit is at least 8 feet across. Do you really think iwi will be apparent? The mechanics of rail will resolve any evidence to be treated with respect.
on November 11,2012 | 08:04AM
aomohoa wrote:
Ken Conklin you are an insult to the Hawaiian people. You are making light of a culture of people. Would you like anyone to make light of your culture? Maybe you have no pride in your own heritage.
on November 11,2012 | 08:10PM
HiloBoy67 wrote:
Absolutely right. He has no culture, so how can he respect another's?
on November 11,2012 | 08:51PM
Shh wrote:
Watch what you are saying Ken...Bachi may come to you. It is not funny what you are saying and I'm sure your ancestors are embarressed and rolling in their grave for that comment you made.
on November 13,2012 | 09:45AM
DABLACK wrote:
Hey Ken ! You Hawaiian ?? You may feel the pressure on your chest tonight too ! Yo betta grow t-leaves around the house too !! Don't knock it !!
on November 11,2012 | 06:42AM
Anonymous wrote:
wouldn't matter hist ignorance shields himself from such things, but karma has a way of coming back to haunt those who let their ignorance guide them into stupidity!
on November 11,2012 | 08:56PM
Malani wrote:
Has anyone besides me noticed that the Staradvertiser has not had anything about the rail in its papers since after the election? We need to stay on top of it because with the raising cost, surprises, and incompetence, it will cost us dearly. Do we get ready for another increase in taxes ontop of the tax already taken out for Rail? We know Staradvertiser is for Rail so keeping it out from its paper to leave us thinking the experts know what they are doing SA want to make sure they'll be no other lawsuits?
on November 11,2012 | 06:45AM
aomohoa wrote:
Malani you should know SA condones the corruption.
on November 11,2012 | 08:13PM
drhanalei wrote:
Wow! Ken Conklin strikes again! It’s hard for me to not wonder what would possess someone who purports to love Hawaii be so disrespectful to the native culture by saying what he says above. I know, I know, Ken....it’s obvious that you are just trying to get a rise out of us by suggesting something so disgraceful and vile. I get it. This is sport for you. But all it does is reveal the lack of respect you have for yourself. You obviously feel impotent about your influence on the status quo, and so you spew this venom in order to feel relevant...kind of like Donald Trump. Bitter Man. Who humiliated you as a young boy that you would compensate for it today by saying something so loathsome about a culture that is so beautiful....even if you do have your own personal and political ax to grind? I get that you don’t like what kanaka maoli are doing to try to regain our own cultural esteem back, you’re entitled to your opinion. But to lower yourself to suggest something as you do above only serves to point out your own pain as a human being that--rather than try to heal it from the inside-out--you seek retribution from the outside-in by degrading a culture that has helped shape and create the beauty that is so much a part of this ‘aina. Expressing your political opinion is one thing. Suggesting something so disrespectful, all that does is reveal the darkness in your own heart.
on November 11,2012 | 07:12AM
false wrote:
Why does he even live here? When he comes to heaven, even if he speaks Hawaiian, we are still going to kalua him. The bears say, "Humans taste like chicken." Hmmmm good.
on November 11,2012 | 08:08AM
Ken_Conklin wrote:
I'm not being disrespectful to anyone; merely pointing out that what was said in that quote is self-contradictory. Please tell me, do you think it was disrespectful to Hawaiian culture when the bones of Israel Kamakawiwoole, Rell Sunn, and Don Ho were cremated and then manhandled in order to scatter the ashes into the ocean? Thousands of people watched those funerals, and nobody said there was anything wrong with cremation and scattering of ashes. So if you think I'm being disrespectful to Hawaiian culture to say that it would be OK to crunch the bones along the rail path as a way of hastening the dissolving of the bones and movement of the spirit into the ground, then talk to the thousands of Hawaiians who participate in cremations and scattering of ashes.
on November 11,2012 | 09:30AM
false wrote:
E Ken, shh. Take the next boat. Someone is missing you?!
on November 11,2012 | 09:34AM
Ken_Conklin wrote:
(1) Most Hawaiians today clearly do not believe that the spirit of the dead person remains in the bones and slowly dissolves into the earth as the bones disintegrate. Anyone who believed that would recoil in horror at the thought of cremation and scattering of ashes. Yet thousands of Hawaiians nowadays have cremations. (2) Religions are not allowed to take over the government and make laws about how everyone must behave. A religious belief held by very few people, about spirits remaining in the bones of dead people, must not be allowed to determine government policy about what to do with burials that are in the path of construction projects.
on November 11,2012 | 09:48AM
8082062424 wrote:
How can you speak for most Hawaiian ? truth is you can not. thousand s are still buried in the ground,
on November 11,2012 | 11:43AM
aomohoa wrote:
You really need to get help. You are an angry sick person Ken Conklin. You have a very dark side that needs healing. So pathetic.
on November 11,2012 | 08:19PM
Shh wrote:
SOOOOOOOOOOO disrespectful Ken! I will pray or you.
on November 13,2012 | 09:56AM
8082062424 wrote:
Yes you are. How a person chooses to be laid to rest is a personal choice . You names 3 that was there choice .There are thousands of Hawaiians who choose to be laid to rest in the ground . Those iwi it was there practice and choice to be laid to rest where they are. And the laws protect that choice out of respect. you have no respect .
on November 11,2012 | 09:52AM
aomohoa wrote:
Ken Conklin I feel sorry for you. You are a very sick person and you need to get help.
on November 11,2012 | 08:17PM
drhanalei wrote:
Ken, so how about we decide on Veteran’s Day (today) to build a multi-purpose center on top of the graves at Punchbowl -- no, better yet, how about at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington DC. Maybe we even talk about extending the Metrorail subway there through and underneath the cemetery. Because there is no messy “religious belief” there about “spirits remaining in the bones of dead people”, the families of these deceased heroic soldiers should just understand that “crunching the bones along the rail path” should not offend any of them if it got in the way of the government carrying out their “construction plans”. Your cynicism is outweighed only by your contempt and loathing for the Hawaiian culture. You should at least have the guts to admit that rather than spew your vitriol over and over again like a worn-out record.
on November 12,2012 | 05:05AM
Shh wrote:
Don't try to fix what has been said already Ken. You are not going to make the matter any better for yourself. If you don't have anything good to say then don't say anything at all because you are digging your own grave now.
on November 13,2012 | 09:53AM
aomohoa wrote:
Well said drhanlei:)
on November 11,2012 | 08:16PM
Shh wrote:
Exactly! What was he thinking?? Watch what you are saying Ken...Bachi may come to you. It is not funny what you are saying and I'm sure your ancestors are embarressed and rolling in their grave for that comment you made.
on November 13,2012 | 09:50AM
Kaluu wrote:
So many Hawaiian homes have been built on top of places where the ancients left their bones! Only now is it a big deal. Some people make up so many stories about the ancient ones of all races. Very good, in my opinion, to respect traditional Hawaiian culture and those who've passed away, but spare us from extreme Hippy Hawaiianism. Some people would be very surprised at the attitudes of older Hawaiians about burials and where you might find bones even on Hawaiian Homes land. Respect is one thing; simple obstructionism is another. Don't we know that some Hawaiians wanted to find bones with plenty mana to make the very best fish hooks? Were they so fearful of lapa? Tell me, is all the bone talk derived from ancient knowledge or something brought to Hawaii by dope-smoking Hippies, who passed on so many wonderful new ideas to Hawaiian youth? I'm more concerned about rampant drug use and dismal educations than standing in one place for fear that I might tread over the bones of the dead. So tired of hippy baloney. But I do sympathize with all those who are weary of urban developement and the need for trains to shuttle commuters to their two or three jobs a day they take to get by. It amazes me how cheerful and strong so many ordinary working people in Honolulu remain, despite the stressful challenges forced on them by overcrowding.
on November 11,2012 | 07:20AM
8082062424 wrote:
fact is we have laws to protect Hawaiian burial grounds and for good reason.
on November 11,2012 | 11:44AM
Shh wrote:
I'm assuming you are not Hawaiian as well and looking for attention for your own centered selfishness and ignorance. However, if you were Hawaiian, you would ask your kapunas that question and see what they tell you! If you are not Hawaiian, than instead of being disrespectful thinking you know everything. Why not try to learn something instead of running your lips. Maybe if your so concerned about the issue of rail, why not have it built over where your ancestors are buried?
on November 13,2012 | 10:07AM
Kaluu wrote:
P.S. As an earlier comment I made goes to be scanned for approval, it also occurs to me to ask, Why just Hawaiian bones? Aren't Chinese bones worthy or respect? Japanese? "Haole"? Why is it assumed that all old-timers' graves of long ago remain marked? Who's to say where some non-Hawaiian might have buried Grandma? Is the Hawaiian-Bones-Are-Special subculture belief traditional Hawaiian or mere mainland nativism transplanted?
on November 11,2012 | 07:29AM
8082062424 wrote:
Hawaiian are the natives to these islands. and a lot of iwi found is pre contact.You may not like it but the law is on there side
on November 11,2012 | 11:39AM
aomohoa wrote:
You are as annoying as Ken.
on November 11,2012 | 08:22PM
Shh wrote:
It probably is still Ken with another account. Haha I second that! No respect for other cultures.
on November 13,2012 | 10:10AM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
I hope HART isn't trying to stack the deck with rail friendly people claiming Hawaiian descent to rubber stamp their decisions and drown out dissenting voices.
on November 11,2012 | 08:40AM
false wrote:
lol. That is just the clarification we needed. We won't surrender a second time.
on November 11,2012 | 09:36AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Are you suggesting that HART might spend uku dollars to public relations firms to try and pull the wool over peoples' eyes? Where would you get a crazy notion like that?
on November 11,2012 | 12:17PM
drhanalei wrote:
Kaluu - what the hell are you talking about? Please don’t confuse “Hippy Hawaiianism” (whatever you mean by that) with the whole concept of “Aloha `Aina”. I don’t know where you get the idea that such a fundamental cultural concept as the importance of our ancestors bones and the mana that lives and breathes in all of us as some kind of commodified whim imported from the mainland. Yes, drug use, bad education, no jobs, poor health -- all of it a result of our lack of self-esteem. But to not see how it is tied to our separation from the `aina is very short-sighted. Why are you talking about Chinese, Japanese, and haole bones when the issue is about the cultural underpinning that for thousands of years defined who we are as a people? Does that mean nothing to you? Obviously we can’t live the way our ancestors lived, but to question and turn our backs on what gave them their spiritual sustenance and what also gives us today our cultural foundation? “Hippy baloney”?? How dare you! How is the christian story of Jesus then not the work of some “dope smoking hippies” that came over in 1820? This is the kind of crap that Ken Conklin loves to see that he stokes among our people.
on November 11,2012 | 11:19AM
Shh wrote:
I'm sure his ancestors are proud to say that Kaluu is from their family. LOL I feel for them.
on November 13,2012 | 10:15AM
Kuniarr wrote:
HART should leave those bones alone. Period.
on November 11,2012 | 06:27PM
Bdpapa wrote:
Its not the iwi of my people that is important its the spirit.
on November 11,2012 | 07:37PM
st1d wrote:
we should think about banning corpse burials on land. burials of corpses should only be allowed at sea or in lava flows. the land is for the living. dead is dead. short of soylent green, dead bodies aren't good for much, and certainly shouldn't be used to block future generations from progress.
on November 11,2012 | 07:50PM
aomohoa wrote:
stld would you disrespect your own family, your own mother and father the way you just described? The "progress" you speak of destroys the Aina and the beauty of our paradise. "Progress" is not always a good thing. If more like you would leave we would have our paradise back.
on November 11,2012 | 08:27PM
jbartek wrote:
Pure Hawaiians are less than 1% in the islands......why are white, black, china, japan and others discrimanated so much against? Its all about getting as much money as you can and letting the government take care of you.....warnings...look at all the problems the american indians have....drugs, booze no education, sounds like alot of people here in Hawaii.....some pop out kids like they are eatting Big Macs..... Do any Hawaiians think they'd be better under one of their kings who gained control wiping out each other....Hawaii is beautiful but alot of the people are just plain lazy and eat too much......I'm 25% Hawaiian and I'm ashamed that so many can't take care of themselves!
on November 11,2012 | 09:59PM
Kaluu wrote:
Aloha, e Hanalei! Ey, go check the net for history of Heneri Opukahaia guys, who talked the New England missionaries into coming. The churches were very reluctant at first. Really interesting, too, that they arrived right after Hawaii's alii overthrew the kapu and were eager for the new ways. Imua, e na pua maoli o Hawaii!
on November 12,2012 | 08:04AM
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