For many Hawaiians, the eruption is a time to connect with Pele and honor ancestors
Two cultural groups, Mauna Kea ʻOhana and The Royal Order of Kamehameha I, are cleaning up the area around the Mauna Kea Access Road and Pu’uhuluhulu in preparation for the arrival of the Hawaiian deity Pele — as some consider Pele a family member.
Cultural practitioner and native rights activist Noe Noe Wong-Wilson said it’s important for Native Hawaiians to make sure their “house” is clean when a revered ancestor visits.
Lanihuli Kanahele is the great-granddaughter of the late cultural practitioner Edith Kanaka’ole and works for the foundation named after her. Kanahele spoke with The Conversation about the significance of the Maunaloa eruption to many Hawaiians, and the importance of Pele to Hawaiian women.
As many people travel to see the amazing site, Kanahele hopes that understanding the cultural context of this event will lead to an appreciation of Maunaloa as a sacred space of wonder and meaning.
This interview aired on The Conversation on Dec. 9, 2022. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1.