Native Hawaiian sacred sites have been damaged in the Lahaina wildfires – but, as an Indigenous scholar writes, their stories will live on

By Rosalyn R. LaPier
The Conversation
August 11, 2023

Native Hawaiians are devastated by the recent wildfires that swept through Lahaina, Maui, killing dozens of residents and destroying hundreds of homes, buildings, Christian churches and Buddhist temples.
It is not just the historic buildings and landmarks that are important to Native Hawaiians. This region of Maui has a longer history.

It has been revered by its Indigenous peoples as a sacred place for generations. In the 19th century, it served as the home and burial place of the Hawaiian royal family and became the first capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom. Carmen Lindsey, chairwoman of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, said in a statement that “Lahaina holds some of the most historically significant cultural properties and highest-ranking sacred remains of our ancestors.”

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