Kawaiaha’o Church Finds Treasure

Kawaiahao Church at the end of the rainbow

That’s Kawaiaha’o Church at the end of the rainbow in this photo.  It’s all about the angle. It might be Queen’s hospital or Honolulu Hale  at the end of that rainbow, if you were coming from a different direction, but this worked for me! It worked even better when this story about finding the iwi (bones) hit the news.  This happens so very often when new construction happens.  My initial comment when I heard about this  was, “tell me a better place to have something like this happen?!?”  This is on the Church grounds.  They have indeed found treasure at the end of that rainbow! (Just for recognition’s sake, I have included a photo of Kawaiaha’o Church below that was taken from the angle that people are most accustomed to seeing.)

Most common view of Kawaiaha’o Church

Hawaiians have always believed that the power or mana of a person, their spiritual essence as it were, is in their bones (iwi).  Many Hawaiians still hold fast to this belief and many others, whether they believe it or not, recognize and respect it as a valuable part of our culture.  We will revisit this topic in a future post because I want to learn and share more about it.  I think it will help to explain some things that have puzzled me, and probably some things that have puzzled others.

Even if the traditional Hawaiian view of the significance of the iwi (bones) is not their view, most local people will take a step back, respect the significance of findings such as this, and send everything to a screeching halt!  I applaud the deference shown by our government offices and the businesses that honor this tradition.

Then I saw this and was aghast!  It was okay when they were widening Queen Street and relocated the remains of many.  Nobody complained then.  If they did, I never heard about it, or it escaped me completely.

Memorial stone commemorating unmarked graves at Kawaiaha’o ChurchI only know this grave stone that sits on the corner of the church property, at the intersection of Punchbowl and Queen Streets, that carries an inscription that reads:

“In memory of our beloved unknown friends of yesteryears found in unmarked graves during the excavation of Queen Street.  These 102 beloved souls are committed unto Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, and their remains tenderly laid to rest in peace in this place.”  November 20, 1988

A little church trying to enhance its ability to help and educate the community is now the target of this ugly publicity?  An article I read said that the remains of the family in question were not touched.  I’m not a party to any of this and I do not know all the details but, if this is the case and there was no damage done, all I can say is,Auwe!

For all of the times that something like this has happened, I can’t think of a better situation.  The families can rest assured that this matter will be handled with the greatest of care.  My heart goes out to this little church and its parishioners.  This is quite a quandary but I know that the iwi will be given the full focus and attention of the leaders and members of this historic institution.

Sending heartfelt wishes for a peaceful resolution and for God’s blessings for Kawaiaha’o Church and the treasured iwi entrusted to their loving care!

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5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Oahu MLS // May 27, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    Those are some great pictures of Kawaiaha’o Church. I have driven by it hundreds of times, never set foot on the grounds. I must do that sometime.

  • 2 Evelyn // May 27, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    It’s very much a country church, Mike. It’s beautiful in its simplicity. 🙂 You should try to visit. Christmas time is nice too — simply done yet very warm.

  • 3 Keahi Pelayo // Jun 8, 2009 at 11:59 am

    Treasures, treasures and more treasures. Kawaiaha’o is one of Honolulu’s.
    Aloha,
    Keahi

  • 4 Evelyn // Jun 8, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    You’ll get no argument from me on that one, Keahi!

  • 5 Feeling it in Our Bones // Sep 14, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    […] way that Hawaiians always regarded the dead, the essence of a person resides in their bones.  I’ve touched on the spiritual significance of the iwi (bones) before.  With that in mind, there actually should be a “feeling” at all cemeteries, right?  […]

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