Woman apologizes for posting photos of stone-throwing at Mauna Kea’s Lake Waiau


A woman who posted photos on social media earlier this month of large boulders thrown into Lake Waiau – a culturally significant lake on Mauna Kea – has apologized for her actions, according to the State Department Land and Natural Resources.

The woman, whom the DLNR has not publicly identified, contacted officials to apologize, saying: “I deleted the video as soon as someone told me it was disrespectful. I filmed someone else throwing stones.

According to a DLNR press release released today, the woman said she did not know the person who threw the stones, and although she saw signs indicating what is prohibited at the lake, she did not know not that throwing stones was considered disrespectful.

The statement said the woman also apologized on Instagram but deactivated her account after receiving death threats.

After reviewing the photos, the DLNR on Tuesday warned the public against throwing stones into the lake, which is 13,000 feet above sea level and currently surrounded by snow.

“She came here and decided it was a good idea to throw stones in the lake. There are several obvious reasons why this is upsetting, both to the ecological community that lives here and to the native Hawaiian community. It can be seen as quite disrespectful to throw big boulders in a place that Hawaiian culture revere and hold in such high regard, “said Jordan” Kama “Lee-Loy, Division Forestry and Nature Reserve System Specialist. of the flora and fauna of the DLNR. Tuesday’s press release.

In Hawaiian mythology, three deities inhabit the area. Signs near the start of the lake trail identify it as a sacred site and ask the public to help maintain the area’s natural state.

Lee-Loy said it was possible the woman was not intentionally disrespectful.

“While she might not have meant bad will, any time you visit a place and are unfamiliar with cultural practices, the best idea is to understand the connection to the people. and how you can visit a place with respect without causing disruption or disrespectful action, ”he said in the statement.

Lee-Loy also reminded the public not to leave offerings at random by the lake, noting that an orange had been forgotten.

“We don’t want to limit traditional and customary practices, but I’m pretty sure that an orange left as an offering is not culturally significant. We ask everyone to be careful not to inadvertently introduce invasive species like ants or non-native plants by leaving them as offerings, ”he said.

Lake Waiau is one of the highest lakes in the country. Its size varies greatly depending on the amount of rain and snow that the area receives.


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