Overnight cultural access in Mākua June 21-22: Absolutely worth doing

By Lynette Cruz

Mālama Mākua hosted an overnight access in Mākua Valley from Friday night, June 21, through Saturday night, June 22. After dinner (awesome potluck!) Jan Becket shared photos he had taken over the years of sacred places all over the west side, including in the valley. It was fascinating and well received by everyone, including members of Hui Kū Like Kākou and students and kumu from Kamaile Academy.

The next morning everyone paid their respects to the kai, learned some west side history from Sparky Rodrigues, did artsy stuff with Shantell Cruz, practiced kūʻē rapping with Kaukaohu Wahilani, and prepped for the afternoon trek into the valley. Felt like it was the hottest day of the year, seriously, but I hitched a ride to the sites up the center road so didn't suffer heat stroke, haha! We stopped at the Mākua ahu to offer hoʻokupu and remember Aloha ʻĀina. Pics of those patriots are in the second set of photos. Mahalo to Nathan Routt, Taylour Chang, Kapua Keliikoa-Kamai for the support and Kalani Young for the ono luau stew and half ripe mangoes.

Mākua access into the upper part of the valley on Saturday, started off on time, 4 pm. Kumu Brad Lum offered oli before we moved up the road. We stopped at Mākua ahu to remember Aloha ʻĀina and to place flowers and greenery there. The list of names and pictures downloaded from the web is getting longer. Who's included? Those who defended and supported Queen and country at the time of the illegal overthrow in 1893. There are many, many more, including those who signed the Kūʻē Petition, but hard to find pics unless they were prominent in some way. Would appreciate referrals so I can find and include others. We included contemporary Aloha ʻĀina, too, the ones, now hala, who continued practices of mālama ʻāina and who were patriots/supporters of Hawaiian independence, whether maoli or not. The compilation of names and photos is growing. Saturday we remembered nā kūpuna: Abigail Kuaihelani Campbell, Timoteo Haʻalilio, Emma Nāwahī, James Kaulia, Joseph Nāwahī, William Punohu White, our Queen Liliʻuokalani, and the Hui Aloha ʻĀina o Nā Wahine. In contemporary times: June Shimokawa, Kekuni Blaisdell, Puhipau, Leandra Wai-Rodrigues, Uncle Bill Amona, Nalani Gersaba, Gabe Welford, Richard Kinney, James Nakapaahu, Marion Kelly, Lela Hubbard, Palani Vaughn, Ernie Cruz, Akoni Cruz, and Philip Hyatt.

The list is expected to grow, of course. But the hope is that others will follow suit and make their own list, and remember all Aloha ʻĀina when the opportunity arises. If there is no ahu, make one. If you visit a gravesite and the place needs care, mālama that place. Claim space for all those no longer here to do it themselves. Lovely that Alexander Kalauokalani Pe'a tracked down James Blount's gravesite in Georgia, remembering his work on behalf of U.S. President Cleveland, and how that work was pivotal to us understanding our own history and the truth of what went down. Remember them all by name. If photos are available, take them with you and remember their likenesses. If we acknowledge them they will never be forgotten and we will remain connected to our kūpuna.

We went way-y-y up the center road and everybody but Brad Lum and myself (and Richard, the archaeologist) trekked down to the site. Shantell Cruz posted info about it yesterday on her page. These younger folks got the energy, I tell ya! There's a dip pond up there, used by helicopters to scoop up water in case there's a fire in the valley. On the way down, because we were in the lead truck, we spied a mama pig and three piglets crossing the road. The others were too far away to see. I caught a pic of the last one crossing, but from far away. Can barely see him. 

Overnight accesses allow us to be in the valley for two hours after sunset. I think the sun went down about 7:15 pm. We stayed until around 8:15, doing a little debrief. Was it worth doing? Absolutely! Is the afternoon access different? Yes. The valley looks and feels different. People see stuff. Next overnight is in August. Consider joining us. The valley would be happy to see you and vice versa.