Hawai‘i Deaf Community Heard on Mauna Kea

July 28, 2019, 10:01 AM HST (Updated July 28, 2019, 12:29 PM)

Members of the deaf community atop Mauna Kea teach protectors sign for ‘Eo on Saturday, July 27, 2019. PC: Derwin Nunes

The situation atop Mauna Kea—where speaking with symbols has become a language of cultural consequence—continued to provide a platform for voices of all kinds over the weekend.

Roughly 50 members of the deaf (na kia’i kuli) community from around Hawai‘i, including some from as far away as California and Texas, visited Mauna Kea on Saturday, July 27, 2019. Part of the group’s ho’okupu, or offering, they presented included teaching the protectors sign language. Included was the sign for Kapu Aloha, as well as the silent signing of the song Ku Ha’aheo.


“It was very emotional day,” said Gerald Farm, who was in charge of coordinating the group’s trip to Pu‘u Huluhulu. “Members often feel like they don’t belong because their voice is not heard. Being able to help them was unbelievably empowering. Not just for them, but for everyone present.”


Darde Gamayo
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