Kanaka Maoli 'Aina

The Nahuku Rainforest in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is part of the ‘Ainu or ancestral homeland of the Kanaka Maoli. This area is famous for the network of lava tubes from Kilauea, which are popular destinations for tourists to the national park. However, many of these lava tubes are also sacred spaces for the Kanaka Maoli, used for burials. Some Kanaka Maoli believe no lava tubes should be entered or built upon because we don’t know which were used for burials and which weren’t. Even those that weren’t used as burial sites, however, often have cultural significance and history. The geological history of these spaces is important to talk about, but the national park also needs to acknowledge their cultural significance and address how the ways they tell the story of this space erases Kanaka Maoli presence. {I had trouble finding much information on this, so if you know more and feel comfortable sharing, please do!}#publiclandisnativeland