Mauna Kea – Temple Under Siege

Mauna Kea – Temple Under Siege

Produced by Nā Maka o ka ʻĀina

Although the mountain volcano Maunakea last erupted around 4000 years ago, it is still hot today, the center of a burning controversy over whether its summit should be used for astronomical observatories or preserved as a cultural landscape sacred to the Hawaiian people.

For five years Na Maka o ka `Aina captured on video the seasonal moods of Maunakea’s unique 14,000-foot summit environment, the richly varied ecosystems that extend from sea level to alpine zone, the legends and stories that reveal the mountain’s geologic and cultural history, and the political turbulence surrounding the efforts to protect the most significant temple in the islands, the mountain itself.

Mauna Kea – Temple Under Siege paints a portrait of a mountain that has become a symbol of the Hawaiian struggle for physical, cultural and political survival. The program explores conflicting forces as they play themselves out in a contemporary island society where cultures collide daily.

In an effort to find commonalities among indigenous people elsewhere regarding sacred mountains, the documentary visits Apache elders of Arizona who face the reality of telescope development on their revered mountain, Dzil Nchaa Si An, known as Mt. Graham.

Partially funded by Pacific Islanders in Communications, Native American Public Telecommunications, and Deviants from the Norm.

Music by Brother Noland.

Featuring Aka Mahi, Pualani Kanahele, Kealoha Pisciotta, Paul Neves, Manu Meyer, Keawe Vredenburg, Sam Gon III, Julie Leialoha, Kahu o Terangi, Kapono Souza, Clarence Kukauakahi Ching, Debbie Ward and Nelson Ho.

Arizona segment features Ola Cassadore Davis and Mike Davis of the Apache Survival Coalition.


Produced and directed by Puhipau and Joan Lander of Nā Maka o ka ʻĀina

To purchase this DVD and to support Nā Maka o ka ʻĀina’s digital archiving project, please visit their website.

ʻŌiwi TV reaches across generations, socio-economic statuses, and geographic locations as the sole media venue where the Hawaiian language, culture and perspective thrive. Through Digital Channel 326, ʻŌiwi TV reaches over 220,000 households across the entire State via Oceanic Time Warner Cable’s network. Through its website, mobile, and social media venues, ʻŌiwi TV is reaching Hawaiians everywhere and engaging a generation of Hawaiians that expect to access anything and everything from anywhere at anytime.


  1. Luana 4 years ago

    I was told this was an amazing film. I’m excited to watch it, but the video isn’t playing 🙁

    • kaipo 4 years ago

      Aloha, I’ve down a quick fix of the link for the video. E kala mai, we are still going through our back log of posts and looking for any issues since moving to our new website. Mahalo for your patience!

  2. Robin 4 years ago

    Thank you for doing this video it is a well worth watching and has deepen my understanding further. I am sharing this with my family. Mahalo Mahalo..

    • Robin 4 years ago

      Everyone should be sharing this video with their family and abroad..

  3. Todd Downing 4 years ago

    Great film! Explains the issue really well.

  4. DELIA 4 years ago

    Good video..thanks for posting:)

  5. Debra K Norenberg 3 years ago

    I cried watching this. It was a truly wonderful and awakening experience. Mahalo!

  6. Catherine Behrendt 2 years ago

    Thank you… This is really important and I will share it… Most people are unaware and uneducated, not knowing about the history or connection, Mauna A Wakea, Papahanaumoku, Hiapo, and the Piko-Mauna Kea or the sacred path to our heavens above… They don’t understand the damage they are doing… It hurts… 🙁

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