Mauna Kea


“Mauna Kea, a volcano on the island of Hawai‘i, is sacred to Native Hawaiians as an elder ancestor and the physical embodiment—or kinolau—of deities revered in Hawaiian culture and religion. Thirteen telescopes and support facilities crowd the sacred landscape of Mauna Kea and a consortium of institutions led by the University of Hawai‘i Institute for Astronomy is now proposing construction of a massive new Thirty Meter Telescope. An important ceremonial site, Lake Waiau, has been drying up in recent years, causing growing concern on the Big Island. Kealoha Pisciotta, president of the local organization Mauna Kea Anaina Hou, testified: ‘If we say yes to more development, we are saying yes to the desecration of our temple and our ancestors, yes to the destruction of our waters, and yes to the possible extinction of life itself.’”