This picture is woefully entitled “Ancient Mamane Trees” and is a snapshot of carcasses, the dead bodies, of Mamane trees that once made up the famous historical Mamane forest of the so-called conservation district that is the Summit of Mauna Kea. A conservation district that the DLNR has violated at least 13 times prior… this is one aspect of the many crimes in progress against our sacred elder Mauna Kea people…
The caption read: “The Ancient Mamane Trees covered in lichen on Mauna Kea as the Moon Rises. Taken September 2nd 2012 at 8.26 PM. Elevation 9,000 ft.”
The following was written by Jane Kapahukalaunu Smythe, a long-time companion and lady-in-waiting to Queen Emma. Mrs. Smythe recalled the hike of Queen Emma in 1931.
We made rips from time to time to camping places on this or the other islands, and Queen Emma never asked for, nor expected, that her path should be made easy. On one occasion we camped for a week in a fern shelter, roughly thrown together, at Waiakeakua Pool, at the head of Manoa Valley. Another time we camped at Waipunolau Pond in the Kohala District of the Island of Hawaii. And once we spent two nights in Gay’s sheep camp at Humuula on our way to the summit of Mauna Kea, 13, 825 feet above sea level.
The sheep ranch afforded anything but what might be visualized as the surroundings for royalty, but the Queen enjoyed her stay there immensely. In the evening we all sat around and immense imu and cooked mutton chops on the hot stones, Queen Emma doing her own cooking and making much less than did the rest of us over the fact that the frying mutton saturated our clothing and persons with odorous smoke that clung for a long tim.
And when it came to retire we found that our sleeping accommodations consisted of a wooden platform in a rude shack that had been built as a temporary shelter for sheepmen. We had blankets, but no mattress- – – and so the Queen, Miss Peabody and I slept on the boards covered only by one Niihau mat, which Her Majesty carried for a saddle cushion.
In spite of our hard bed, we slept soundly; so soundly in fact that the Queen, who had retired next to the inner wall, was able to crawl over Miss Peabody and myself in the morning, without waking us. When we did arouse ourselves we found her outside the shack, bending down a limb of a Mamane tree and shaking the dew from its leaves in an effort to obtain enough water for her morning refreshening. The camp afforded drinking water only.
At dawn on the second day after spending a wet night in the open we set out for the summit of Hawaii’s highest mountain. We were heavily clothed and over our faces wore masks of flannel, with holes cut out for our eyes and mouths. These were necessary as protection against the reflected heat from the stones on the lower levels and the intense cold at the higher altitudes. Members of the party who failed to wear masks presented a laughable, though almost pitiful aspect after the climb, for their faces and mouths were swollen and discolored, and their eyes seemed to be popping out of their heads. It was cold- – – we found a rim of thin ice around the edge of Lake Waiau at the summit – – – but the Queen enjoyed herself throughly, as she always did when she was in open country.
(Although I could not find an exact date of this expedition at this time, January 2000, an approximate date of this trip was probably in 1882 or thereabouts. At this time, shortly before the death of Queen Emma in 1885, such trips were made by her -Kimo Alama Keaulana)
***The above is from the collection of my Kumu Kimo Alama Keaulana whom I continue to reside with and learn from endlessly and humbly as I did when my own tutu, born in 1900 were alive. It is pono to reference information properly so please do so if you would like to share this, or any of the information and moolelo found on my pages, for much of it has never been shared with the multitudes before. Now that our Mauna is endangered, it is far past that time to share what is sacred and expose what is not sacred. Aole pono ka hoopailua ʻia ʻana ka Mauna e ka TMT. Mahalo -Kamahana
This is a followup to the moolelo and account of Queen Emma’s Trip to Mauna Kea Recorded in Interviews with James Kahalelaumamane Lindsey, where we hear Mr. Lindsey tell us the story of how his mother was instructed to name him “Kahalelaumamane” by Queen Emma during the time she journeyed to our Sacred Mauna, here is the link:
In 1972 the only remaining, extensive mamane (Sophora chrysophylla) and naio (Myoporum sandwicense) ecosystem was found on Mauna Kea on the island of Hawaii. This endemic ecosystem provided the only known habitat for the endangered Palila, and it was the only habitat in which the ever rarer Akiapolaau had been seen fairly regularly around 1972. The mamane-naio forest was part of some 82,000 acres on Mauna Kea that were illegally seized by the State of Hawaii following the illegal occupation of Hawaii which we are currently and continuously experiencing 121 years later.
Of the total acreage, only about 30,000 acres were forested in 1972, however; scattered tropical subalpine and alpine plants were found above the tree line, but the highest part of the mountain consisted primarily of barren lava and cinder. Classified as a forest reserve for about 90 years now, this land was turned over to the Division of Fish and Game in the early 1950s and was re-designated the Mauna Kea Forest Reserve and Game Management Area. Late in 1971, the Division of Forestry erected a large sign, announcing anew that this was the Mauna Kea Forest Reserve; it still is a game management area, as well. What actual value has been placed on this unique ecosystem by the Divisions of Forestry and Fish and Game within the last 64 years?
1. The Division of Forestry has never conducted any significant research on either mamane or naio. Mamane seeds form a large part of the diet of the Palila.
2. Tree line of this dying forest once extended to about 10,080 feet. It now is found much lower, and continues to recede because of the overpopulation of both sheep and pigs. Except within exclosures, regeneration of mamane is virtually nonexistent because the seedlings are eaten by the sheep and rooted out by the pigs. Hunters in Hawaii have so much political power, however, that on several occasions they have forced the Division of Fish and Game to close or shorten the sheep-hunting season in order to allow the population to increase even more (Kramer, 1968). Consequently, no effort is being made to eradicate the feral sheep or even to reduce the herd to a reasonable size carrying capacity of the range is a concept not considered in Hawaii. At the same
time, great pressures are constantly being exerted to introduce the axis deer to this habitat. The influence of hunters upon these decisions seems remarkable in view of their small number, only 10,134 licensed hunters in Hawaii in 1970, according to a recent report by the Wildlife Management Institute.
3. The Kaohe Game Management Area (contiguous with the Mauna Kea Game Management Area) is open for archery hunting only, even though it contains a great overpopulation of both pigs and sheep. State personnel estimate that a fluctuating population between 500 and 1,000 sheep occupy this fenced area of approximately 6,500 acres. One would have to search far, indeed, to find more stark examples of “browse lines” than on trees in this dying forest. Moreover, more than 150,000 acres are open only to archery hunters on the island of Hawaii.
Richard E. Warner (1960) called attention to some of these problems more than SIXTY years ago.
The corruption of government will not fix itself. As my hapa-malaka papa, civil war vet, and the slaves of pre-civil war America know, it takes the will of the people And civil disobedience to force governments to do what is right.
George Helm knew this and won back and entire island just as sacred as our Mauna.
Ghandi knew this.
Martin Luther King and Malcolm X new it.
Bumpy Kanahele knew it, and look where it got him and none of us.
Robert Wilcox knew this.
My aunty Pele Hanoa knew this.
Uncle Soli Niheu new this when he asked me, and his best friend, my grandfather Fern Kealoha, if we would lay our bodies down for the Mauna when the time comes.
Their efforts have all bore fruit that made what WE SAY IS PONO, PONO.
Standing by and doing the same thing and getting the same non-pono results is not pono. That’s the clinical definition of insanity. To do the same thing over and over expecting different results.
Clearly, re-enacting failures of the past is not pono.
There is only one thing a regime that is forcibly illegally occupying a peaceful country for 121 years understands, and that is force.
The sooner we do what is right the sooner we can actual live Pono and not just be relegated to imagining and talking about it.
How long will we wait foolishly, and, who do we think we are fooling, exactly, if we think that doing nothing, is pono, or that our actions are helping the Mauna at all?
Creative, sacred action must be innovated. We need new thinkers and new movers to take the old and move forward into the new- pono territory that we have yet to claim. Putting the horse before the cart in pono, namely imagining it and not putting action to the imagination- may not be the best strategy. What are some strategies that we could try that we haven’t yet?
Dr. Keanu Sai and Dr. Williamson Chang have put them selves out there by pursuing a highly criticized avenue- but it has never been done before so I greatly applaud that.
What are other ways? We must be able to come up with them… we are a people born out of the universe with minds that have powers that our humanity cannot fathom… we are the miracle, so let us be who we are— what do you think? What has not been done before that we could employ here to save our Mauna?
Read more on the decimation of the so-called conservation area: