Kiele Marquez reflects on April 8, 2019 Kū Ceremony at the University of Hawaiʻi
My name is Kiele Marquez and I am a freshman at Hālau Kū Māna Public Charter School. These are some of my personal feelings about the part I played at the Kū ceremony yesterday.
This was my first time being able to dance in front of this specific ahu. When this ahu was being built I was on a trip and I missed laying my hands upon the pōhaku as it was being built. So this ceremony was meaningful to me. Iʻm used to welcoming Lono during makahiki season but I never welcomed Kū before. This ceremony was necessary for our Lāhui because it is time to move forward and work hard to keep Hawaiʻi Hawaiian. We are battling for preservation of sacred lands, water rights, and who we are as a people.
Yesterday was a validation that the original people of this land are rising. I felt very empowered as a kanaka. Dancing near the ahu made me feel connected to my ancestors and to this land in which I come from. I saw familiar faces of people who are at the forefront of Mauna Kea protection. People of all races attended our ceremony because we are all connected with the purpose of protecting these sacred lands. I am proud to be an educated kanaka and I hope to make a difference in the future.
Kiele is in the first 4th grade class at Hālau Kū Māna. She is in the PAAC (Pacific Asian Affairs Council) and will travel to Bali this June with them. She has also applied to the AgDiscovery Program at UH. She wrestles for Nā Koa and models and acts with Nichè Agency. Kiele enjoys spending time with close friends and her 'ohana especially her grandmother who suffers from lung and heart failure and is severely blind. She often reads the newspaper to her. Her passions are astronomy and reading. She knows that there is a place to study the stars and our Mauna is not one of them.