Cultural genocide continues in Hawaii with the latest breaking news of a story about a man name Uncle Abel and the land he's stewarded for the last 30 years.
The land in question is known as Kawa and sits in the Ka'u district of the Big Island of Hawaii. Uncle Abel inherited this land and his role as konohiki (steward) from his great-great, Timoteo Keawe but the State does not recognize the paperwork from back then...this is how the State makes land grabs - they changed criteria for deeds and titles rendering many, many titles impotent.
Abel worked hard to keep the land clean, clear and free of trouble makers...it's a popular site for the locals to surf at and it's hundreds of acres are home to burial and sites of signifigance. Abel never stopped anyone from coming though he had no tolerance for crack or meth-heads wanting to go there to tweak.
There is a sacred stream and a Queen's bath that kieki and surfers loved to dip in, as well as accidental tourists or people from around the world who came for Abel's healings and ceremony. There's also two heiaus and astronomy markers in the lava....Kawa was the training ground for the Alii (Royalty) in eveyrthing from surfing to astronomy to Hawaiian marshall arts, arts and crafts and the list goes on.
The State and County are, by their own laws, responsible for preserving and protecting the burial and sites, but Hawaiian Law dictates this too and Abel kept up his end of the bargain by keeping a watchful eye. There were never very many families who came down to honour their ancestors, but after the County hosted some townhall meetings in manipulative charette style, all of a sudden there were people crying , "Roots, our roots!". While it's fine to have an awakening, these families also did not make attempts to visit their ancestors at Kawa....it was like a sad hoax come true.
Abel and his cousin Moses and his girlfriend, Kettrena were given a two hour eviction notice by the County. They roughed up Kettrena, threw her to the ground and her head bashed onto the ground. She had to cry for help because her handcuffs were too right...she had not resisted so it's not understood why the police took such unjustified action with her. Meanwhile an ambulance was called for Abel as he has a bad heart and was feeling dizzy from all the stress and commotion.
The County began right away to lay down layers of gravel on the lava driveway that leads to Abel's house then down to the beach. His house was torn down and put on a trailer. Mayor Billy Kenoi told the public that the County now owned the land , having bought it from the Edmund Olson Trust. Kenoi says Kawa will be closed for the next 30 days while experts and archeologists do an inventory of the sites. Some of the gravel they laid down now covers ancient astronomy markers....so much for the 'experts'.
WHAT IS NOT BEING SAID far and wide is that Kawa is one of several areas the County is setting up as farms to grow GMO crops for the military's use of biodisel. So much for the sacred stream, Queen's bath and the land!
There is local opposition to Abel, much of what comes down to Hatfield vs. McCoy style personal politics. Before Abel layed claim to his inherited right, Kawa was always popular with the locals as a place to hang and surf and party without tourists around. Fair enough. But along came Abel and some things changed - he would not tolerate littering or disrespect of the aina (land). This caused many a nose to go out of joint, especially for "Big man in a small pond" syndrome. Many came around to Abel's prescense and rules (take it in then pack it out), and the surfing contests continued. Some could never let go and now spread false rumours about the lack of cleanliness at Kawa - rumours very unfounded and to be honest, quite ridiculous. Some bill Abel as a 'mean old man who stopped people from going to Kawa' but again, ridiculous....how does one old man prevent anyone from entering? Yes, Abel is human and has 'lost it' before or just had normal cranky days like any kupuna (elder). But in the end he's a loving, giving, gifted healer who wouldn't hurt a fly...but that's part of his story because Abel met the dark when he was young.
After witnessing his sister being raped by a cop, 15 year old Abel ran and found a gun. He killed the cop. A lot of testimony was not allowed and a manslaughter charge was laid. Abel served 18 years in the Big House on the mainland. He paid his penance, he grew to be the spiritual person and healer he is. His detractors use the manslaughter against him.
Kawa has also been the heart of grassroots sovereignty, which has posed a threat to locals who are 'Americanized'. But to those who honour that Hawaii was an illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom, there could be no stronger place to gather and keep abreast of sovereign rights. Abel knew far too well he may lose Kawa one day, for a while, and the attempts on his life and constant harassment by police, County and State all testify to the threat he posed because Abel held the truth.
The fate of Abel and Kawa are unknown. It's up to Ke Akua.
Meantime you can help by signing the petition...Mahalo for your attention to this!