Vandals Dismantle Mauna Kea Summit Alter

Authorities say somebody on Valentines Day apparently dismantled the Mauna Kea summit alter with a machete.

The alter was built in 1997 for spiritual purposes and included personal momentos of two soldiers killed in Iraq.

Later in the same week vandals partly dismantled an ahu on the grounds of Iolani Palace this weekend, scattering more than 20 sacred stones around the grassy area and leaving one atop the site’s gated burial mound. That shrine was built in 1993.

The shrine was rebuilt in a snowstorm with temperatures near zero on February 23. The article notes:

In Hawaiian religion, Mauna Kea is a sacred mountain where Papa Sky met with goddesses and is the source of Hawaiian origin myths, according to Neves and others. Neves said that leaving an offering at the ahu lele gives people a way to connect to a sacred realm that helps believers in their spiritual evolution.

Among native Hawaiians there has been some disagreement over whether the ahu lele is temporary and should be torn down or allowed to grow under the offerings of various pilgrims.


Mauna Kea climbers fight cold to fix altar
February 23, 2006
Honolulu Star Bulletin

Vandals desecrate Iolani Palace shrine
February 20, 2006
Honolulu Star Bulletin

Mauna Kea: A Guide to Hawai\'i\'s Sacred Mountain

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