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Burial laws should be grounded in history and present-day reality

By Roy L. Benham

POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Oct 29, 2012

~~<p>Hawaii would be well served if a review of laws governing burial discoveries were undertaken, as the Star-Advertiser has suggested (&quot;Laws protecting iwi need review,&quot; Star-Advertiser, Our View, Oct. 5). The review should be mindful of the impact of burial laws on the improvements necessary for a growing community, while being mindful of history and tradition.</p>
<p>In pre-contact Hawaii, the iwi (bones) of family members were not as important as the individual's spirit (uhane). Upon death, the family gathered around the body of the departed to chant and to ensure the uhane would go to the gathering place on an island where the spirit would meet with the Akua who would escort him or her to po &mdash; the Hawaiian heaven.</p>
~~

Hawaii would be well served if a review of laws governing burial discoveries were undertaken, as the Star-Advertiser has suggested ("Laws protecting iwi need review," Star-Advertiser, Our View, Oct. 5). The review should be mindful of the impact of burial laws on the improvements necessary for a growing community, while being mindful of history and tradition.

In pre-contact Hawaii, the iwi (bones) of family members were not as important as the individual's spirit (uhane). Upon death, the family gathered around the body of the departed to chant and to ensure the uhane would go to the gathering place on an island where the spirit would meet with the Akua who would escort him or her to po — the Hawaiian heaven. Login for more...



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