Maunakea in Hawaiian Culture

Hawaiian Culture

Maunakea, kuahiwi, ku ha'o i ka malie. Poli'ahu, ka wahine kapu hau anu o Maunakea.
-from Mary Kawena Pukui's ʻOlelo Noʻeau

Maunakea, standing alone in the calm. Poli'ahu, is the goddess of snows; her home is on Maunakea.
-from Mary Kawena Pukui's ʻOlelo Noʻeau

The Comprehensive Management Plan (CMP) outlines cultural management principles, priorities, and actions for the management of UH lands on Maunakea. Some of these priorities include:

Management Actions

An ahu at the summit

  • Work with families with lineal and historical connections to Maunakea, kūpuna, cultural practitioners, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and other Native Hawaiian groups toward the development of appropriate procedures and protocols regarding cultural issues.
  • Support application for designation of the summit region of Maunakea as a Traditional Cultural Property, per the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended, 16 U.S.C. 470 et seq. in consultation with the larger community.
  • Conduct educational efforts to generate public awareness about the importance of preserving the cultural landscape on Maunakea.

Cultural Practices

  • Establish a process for ongoing collection of information on traditional, contemporary, and customary cultural practices.
  • Develop and adopt guidelines for the culturally appropriate placement and removal of offerings.
  • Develop and adopt guidelines for the visitation and use of ancient shrines.
  • Determine the appropriateness of constructing new Hawaiian cultural features.
  • Develop and adopt a management policy for the UH Management Areas on the scattering of cremated human remains.
  • Develop a management policy for the culturally appropriateness of building ahu or “stacking of rocks”.

Cultural offerings, against a backdrop of telescopes

Cultural offerings, detail view

Historic Properties

  • Develop and implement a historic property monitoring program to systematically monitor the condition of the historic district and all historic properties, including cultural sites and burials.
  • Complete an archaeological survey of the portions of the Summit Access Road corridor that are under UH management.
  • Consult with Kahu Kū Mauna about establishing buffers (preservation zones) around known historic sites in the Astronomy Precinct, to protect them from potential future development.
  • Develop and implement a burial treatment plan for the UH Management Areas in consultation with Kahu Kū Mauna Council, the Hawaiʻi Island Burial Council, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, recognized lineal or cultural descendants, and the State Historic Preservation Division.
  • Immediately report any disturbance of a shrine or burial site to the rangers, Division of Conservation and Resource Enforcement, Kahu Kū Mauna Council, and the State Historic Preservation Division.