COPY-Makaha Ancient Remains Threatened By Delays and Waves - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

COPY-Makaha Ancient Remains Threatened By Delays and Waves

By Beth Hillyer

MAKAHA (KHNL) -- It's been a month since city crews mistakenly dug up ancient Hawaiian remains in Makaha.

Lineal descedents of those remains buried there express frustration over the process of re-locating the Iwi.

On Saturday nearly one hundred descendents planned to re-bury the remains in a sacred ceremony.

But they are upset. They say the city threw a wrench in their plans.

The remains are scattereed across a sand dune on city property.

City crews cleaning up unearthed the Iwi.

But long before the city bought it, it was a well known and documented burial site.

Lineal decendents are frustrated with the city's efforts to return the remains to their original resting place.

"Kinda left out on a limb there. We are uncertain if they keep their word, keep honor, respect and do the proper thing and family are concerned if they renig on this part of the agreement," says family member Henry Hopfe.

Family members are gatheirng Saturday for a healing and forgiveness ceremony where they share sacred cultural foods. A city official reportedly told the group this morning they will not provide the food for the event just three days away.

"Putting closure in a ceremony this Saturday is important to us. It's a sacred ceremony which we call Ai Kapu ceremony." explains Hopfe.

An even bigger problem. The rising surf could wash away the remains.

"We have concerns about the ocean doing further damage to burial site." says Hopfe.

Family members want the city and state to approve permits to re-bury the remains by next month.

"We are afraid it might go maybe months or years which would be really unfortunate, " concludes Hopfe.

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