Hawaiian Culture & Maunakea
Maunakea, also known by its original name Mauna a Wakea is a sacred place for Hawaiians. Wakea, sometimes translated as "Sky Father" is considered the father of the Hawaiian people.
While it is the dwelling place of the goddess Poli'ahu it is also associated with the Hawaiian deities Lilinoe and Waiau. The summit was considered the realm of the gods and in ancient times was kapu (forbidden) to all but the highest chiefs and priests. Occasionally Hawaiian ali'i (royalty) would make the long trek to the top, the last royal visitor being Queen Emma in 1881 who led her companions on the arduous 6 hour journey to the top to see the summit and rejuvenate herself in sacred Lake Waiau.
While today Maunakea is home to 13 international observatories and recieves thousands of visitors every year it remains a sacred place for the people of Hawai'i. On the the third Saturday of every month MKVIS hosts community speakers who speak about Mauna O Wakea from a cultural perspective. Learn more »