All you need to know about Mauna Kea, the Protest on Mauna Kea and the meaning it has to the hawaiian people. Find out why Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson, Kahanu Cuban and other celebrities support the protest on Mauna Kea.
Today’s message has nothing to do with tours & activities, but with something way more important – RESPECT.
Facts about Mauna Kea – the tallest mountain in the world
Maybe you have heard about the protests on the world’s tallest mountain, the Mauna Kea. Mauna Kea is the highest crater in Hawaii with more than 13,800 ft. Most of the volcano is underwater, and when measured from its oceanic base, Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain in the world, measuring over 10,000 m (33,000 ft) in height. Mauna Kea is about a million years old, and has thus passed the most active shield stage of life hundreds of thousands of years ago. Mauna Kea is considered dormant, last active about 4,000 – 6,000 years ago.
Why is Mauna Kea sacred?
Mauna Kea is a sacred place for hawaiians. They believe it is the connection between heaven and earth – which seems to be true, considering there are 13 high tech telescopes on the mountain already, exploring the skies and the universe. The Mauna Kea protest shows, we have a real problem!
In Hawaiian mythology, the summit of Mauna Kea was seen as the “region of the gods”, a place where benevolent spirits reside. Poliʻahu, deity of snow, also resides there. “Mauna Kea” means “white mountain,” in reference to its seasonally snow-capped summit.
The water of the mountain helped the hawaiians survive. There are many native plants and animals on the mountain that only exist here. So even for the ecosystem, the dormant crater plays an important role.
Why build a 30 meter telescope on a sacred mountain?
The plan is to build a 30 meter wide Telescope on top of the Mauna Kea. This would be the 14th telescope on top of this mountain. Scientists say Mauna Kea is the best spot for astronomy, the premiere location. However, other spots for example on the canary islands have been identified as almost as good.
The conditions on Mauna Kea are the best for astronomy due to
- the high altitude,
- very dry air,
- steady non-turbulent tradewinds.
Astronomers hope to find out more about the beginning of our universe, the stars and planets surrounding us and maybe even answer the question of “how it all began”. From a scientific standpoint the 30 meter telescope on top of Mauna Kea would be ground breaking.
The sacred and the scientific clash on Hawaii’s Mauna Kea
Now, you know about both sides of the story. Of course there are a lot of details that we aren’t able to capture here. The dilemma of tradition meets future is the basis of the problem.
Protests on Mauna Kea
Protests began locally within the state of Hawaii on October 7, 2014 but went global within weeks of the April 2, 2015 arrest of 31 people who had blockaded the roadway to keep construction crews off the summit.
After the construction came to a stop because of missing permits, the construction of the thirty meter telescope was scheduled to restart on July 15, 2019. On 13 July, protectors started to gather on the base of the access road to Mauna Kea. On 15 July, protectors blocked the access road to the mountain preventing the planned construction from commencing. On July 16, thirteen astronomical facilities on the mountain stopped activities and evacuated their personnel. On July 17, 33 protestors were arrested, all of whom were kūpuna, or elders, as the blockage of the access road continued.
More than 1,000 people marched in Waikiki and gathered in Kapiolani Park on July 21, 2019 in protest of the project.
As of today, August 7th 2019 protests on Mauna Kea are still going on. More than 1,000 hawaiians and non-hawaiians are gathered on the sacred mountain. The construction of the thirty meter telescope (TMT) has stopped, for now.
Celebrities supporting Hawaiians on Mauna Kea
Celebrities from all over the world support the hawaiian people on Mauna Kea. Some of the most famous ones are Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and “Aquaman”, Jason Mamoa.
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Hard to express how strong the mana and how heavy the heart was when I walked this sacred land with these people – our people. This issue is much greater than a thirty meter telescope to be constructed on the Mauna. It’s humanity and compassion. Its respect for culture and approaching this with deep care and sensitivity. I’ll always be strong advocate for the advancement of science and technology, but never at the sacrifice of human beings who’s hearts are hurting thru mismanagement and breach of trust. I believe in forward progress, but only when it comes thru humanity. I don’t believe in leaving people behind, I believe in bringing people with us. The best of leaders find a way to make progress thru humanity and will always lead with empathy. I’m hopeful that leader will emerge to take care of the thing that matters most in this situation – the people. I appreciate the views shared with me from reps on both sides of this issue. It’s always healthy and critical to have open heart to heart dialogue. In the end, I stand with the people. #ProgressThruHumanity #LeadWithEmpathy #MaunaKea
Local surfers like Kahanu Cuban and artists also support the hawaiians on the Mauna Kea by donating food and spreading the word about what is happening through social media. Local, national and international TV stations regularly broadcast about the Mauna Kea Protest.
A list showing more celebrities supporting Mauna Kea protest can be found here.
Daniels Hawaii Mauna Kea Statement
We at Daniels Hawaii have the deepest respect for Hawaiian culture. We support science, yet not at all cost.
As a local tour and activities provider, DanielsHawaii profits every day from the culture and the beauty of Hawaii. We know, visitors come here because of the romantic and beautiful Hawaiian Culture as well as the beauty of the islands. Why else would people visit Luau’s, enjoy Hula shows, hike all over the islands, visit hawaiian museums and book our circle island tours?
Hawaii is one of the TOP tourist destinations of the world, because of the connection of culture, nature and Aloha. Hawaiians have always been welcoming and they are to this day.
We at Daniels Hawaii RESPECT that and try to give back to the land (Aina) and people. We support local non-profits doing beach cleanups like 808cleanups and international non-profit organisations like The Ocean Cleanup to help clean the ocean. Click here to learn more about our sustainable tours in Hawaii.
Hawaii certainly is one of the greatest places in the world because of the people here, people sharing ALOHA. Taking advantage of people that welcomed you is nothing we can support. That’s why we are standing with and supporting the people on the Mauna Kea.