In a demonstration of unity through kapu aloha, several thousand on Maui marched today from the War Memorial Stadium to the University of Hawai`i’s Maui Campus. The Kapu Aloha Unity March brought together an estimated 7,000 participants in support of kia`i, or protectors, of Mauna Kea.
Over forty trained Maui kia`i accompanied the march to support kupuna, assist with safety needs, and helped to move the large crowd towards the UH campus.
Following opening chants by five kumu, Luana Kawa`a, Keali`i Reichel, Kaponoa`i Molitau, Kahulu Maluo, and Hi`ilei Maxwell Juan, marchers proceeded through Ka`ahumanu Avenue in Kahului led by members of the Royal Order of Kamehameha Kahekili Chapter. Marchers were shuttled to the stadium by Akina’s Transportation, who donated the service for the event, and upon entering the UH Maui campus, were greeted by music band Sons of Yeshua, a band known for songs related to the protection of Mauna Kea. Among the major supporters was Na`auao Traffic Control with a contribution of materials and personnel assisting with traffic safety and routing.
Kaho`okahi Kanuha, who has led the efforts to protect Mauna Kea, traveled to Maui to participate and speak to the marchers, calling on supporters to recognize the power of a unified people and to make the journey to Mauna Kea. Other featured speakers included Kaleikoa Ka`eo, Kahele Dukelow, Tiare Lawrence and Ke`eaumoku Kapu.
“We are grateful for the extraordinary turnout and the support the march received,” said march organizers Mahina Martin, Luana Kawa`a, Koa Hewahewa and Torie Ho`opi`i. “Today we saw that a unified Maui with the combined strength of thousands can stand together in kapu aloha to support our kia`i in this historic time for all of Hawai`i.”
The march highlights Kapu Aloha in recognition of the higher standards kia`i are committed to in their efforts to protect Mauna Kea.