CASTLE JUNCTION (HawaiiNewsNow) - A traditional Hawaiian stone marker was destroyed by vandals just a few weeks after its dedication.
Representatives from Hawaiian civic clubs, government agencies, and other community groups blessed the ahu at Castle Junction on July 27. The structure marks the traditional boundary between the ahupuaa, or land divisions, of Kaneohe and Kailua.
The ahu is part of an overall cultural awareness program.
"That is to educate our community on the names of the ahupuaa and the kuleana to be good stewards, to take care of the area within our ahupuaa," said Mahealani Cypher of the Koolaupoko Hawaiian Civic Club.
Club members said the vandalism occurred between 2:30 and 4:30 on Saturday afternoon.
"Everyone was devastated. It was really disheartening because it was a symbol of reintroducing the Hawaiian concept of stewardship and caring for our resources," explained Cypher.
They're hoping someone saw what happened at the busy intersection where the Pali Highway and Kamehameha Highway meet.
"We're hoping that maybe a motorist parked at the red light there might have noticed people there and will report it to the police," said Cypher.
They filed a police report for the damage estimated at $2,500 dollars. The members say they're dismayed by this display of disrespect for the Hawaiian culture, but they're determined not to let this setback stop their educational efforts.
"Our project team will work with community leaders and come up with a plan to rebuild. We do intend to rebuild that ahu. We will not be defeated by vandalism," said Cypher.