Hula halau hold summer solstice ceremonies, offer support to Mauna Kea

Sunday marks the summer solstice, an important time in Native Hawaiian culture, so dozens of people across the state held ceremonies and prayers that also included thoughts of Mauna Kea.

More than 15 hula halau and their students gathered at Waimanalo Beach Park before sunrise — to dance, pray and sing on the hour.

Halau had been practicing for this day for quite a while, but it also turned out to be timely as just last night, an announcement was made that construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea would resume on Wednesday.

“Our intent is to send our mana and send our kako’o to Mauna a Wakea,” said kumu hula Mehana Hind, “but also to let people know out there that aloha aina, the idea of loving our land and taking care of our land, is something we’re committed to.”

At about noon, the group travelled to the University of Hawaii Manoa campus to gather at an altar built to support the efforts to protect Mauna Kea.

The halau closed out the day with sunset ceremonies at Pokai Bay in Waianae.

Summer solstice ceremonies were also held today on Mauna Kea, Haleakala and other areas of the state.

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