Niihau PopulationPeople of Niihau
In the 1860 niihau population of 647 people. When the new settlers recruited members of this fellowship, they ranched the islands for the animals and shepherds. One hundred and thirty-three years later, the present proprietor, 86-year-old Helen Robinson, and her son Keith Robinson, 56, and Bruce Robinson, 54, Sinclair offspring, are continuing a heritage of employment, care and security for the 200 Hawaiians who remained in Niihau.
The Robinsons, like their ancestors, severely restricted Niihau's accessibility; you need a permit or an invite to go to the Isle. Niihauan's cannot talk about anything that could compromise the safety and privacy of his family's belongings and businesses, Keith Robinson said. And they must have a "reasonably sincere, matter-of-fact and ethical lifestyle" as long as they are living on Robinson's land.
Otherwise, they may be expelled from the Isle. Most of the area on the islands is still uncultivated; there are only unsealed streets and no phone or power cables, although every house has a magnet. Over 130 years of limited accessibility have been the inspiration for the nicknamed "Forbidden Island" and "Island of the Past" and the mystical veil of Niihau.
We are all one family," says teacher Ilei Beniamina about Niihauans, who repeatedly have last names of Beniamina, Kanahele, Ka'ohelauli'i, Keale, Kelley, Niau, Niheu and Shintani. A Niihauer by birth, she currently resides on Kauai, where she is at the Kauai Community College School. Moe Keale, whose dad was borne on Niihau and brought him there on a regular basis in his childhood, described Niihauans as very generous, gentle, timid and modest.
Said they lived near Mother Earth and they got along. It is a tale of his Niihau brothers repairing a lorry without having to read a handbook. They' re astonishing, astounding human beings. "He described Niihauan's in one word: "aloha. "Keale described the rhythms of Niihaus' lifestyle: The villagers climb up in front of the sund and work at the farm until sunset to keep livestock, mend barriers and "all the cowboys' kins' stuff".
They" know where to go on this isle to get ophi and what kind of fishing they like. "There' s a food shop where you subscribe for paper clips like powder and cans. In the evening, the family gathers to borrow Niihau mussels, for "this is their present that they give you".
" Keale remembers that times are fluent; when they say that they will see you on Tuesday: "It can be anytime between sunrise and sunset. There''s no delay on Niihau..... "A ranching boat provides free transport and provisions without much regularity: every one to sixweek.
Helicopters also have contact with the ranch's seven-person twin-engine emergency rescue team. Kéle Views the Niihau ambiance through romance lenses: "Riyadh is like Hawaii was a hundred years ago - you'll be there in a second. There was a small army guard after a small plane from the Pearl Harbor raid hit the area.
- The Navy spends $2. 3 million for an Environmental Impacts Statement (ICE) on its request for test-fire launching locations on Kauai and Niihau. Kéith Robinson greeted the idea and called it "getting payed to just hang around and press knobs in dark boxes". The final decision belongs to Bruce Robinson, the CEO and co-heir of Keith from Niihau Ranch, which includes the Isle of Niihau.
"From time to time he may ask for feedback (from the people of Niihau). But, in the end, we have to deal with the results, we are the proprietors, we are the ones who are going to be taxpayed. "What Niihauans themselves think of their own futures and the prospects for test rockets is hard to predict. Her timidity and modesty, despite which, Niihauans has been banned historically to treat statewide defence research projects dating to the 1958 nuclear tests on nearby Johnson Isle.
Therefore, only two Niihauans overcome a deep-rooted aversion to talking to strangers. Ilei Beniamina sees the Navy's rocket design as the embodiment of the dichotomy between the West and Hawaiian world. "Beniamina was drawing a smoke, looking away into an unclear fate and speaking in a quiet, serious tone. "No more diluting our Niihau culture," she begged.
We' re the last natives who are Hawaiians because we have the local tongue and that's what's remaining - the remains (of culture). Is Niihau going to be affected dramatically by this amendment? "Beniamina defended Niihau in the recent Hawaii Sovereign Election Council and recognized that the decision-making under the Niihauans is a micromicrocosm of the Hwaiianovement.
" Misfits, she said, misinterpreted the peoples' rulings as those of the landowners, when "our nation made the rulings and gave them to Robinson". "59-year-old Niihauan "Mama" Lina Kanahele said fiercely in Hawaiian about the rulings her tribe is facing: "A' ole makemake" -- I don't want (the navy on Niihau Island).
" NIIHAU'S near futures seems gloomy, but steady. Robinsons acknowledged that they have no intention of selling the isle; they have rejected many bids - one of which is a vast amount of Japanese interests. We will try to keep the place as long as possible, but of course we cannot give any lasting guarantees," said Keith Robinson.
Right now we have very little additional cash to subsidise Niihau. "He said that he and his bro are diverting income from Gay & Robinson Inc. - from which they belong to a number of proprietors - to assist Niihau. Two to three time more Niihau employees than necessary and are paid a minimal salary.
The Robinsons have recently reduced workers' working time due to the recession, but are trying to prevent layoffs. That number does not include the revenue losses resulting from providing free homes and free meats to a group of 150-200 people," he said. He said he was planning to launch eco-tourism in his Kauai Wildlife Reserve to "tap some cash to make a little payment to Niihau".
" Wainiha, Kauai, to raise funds; however, this country is a tough sale because it is zone preservation, said Keith Robinson. Niihauan's himself might be able to work in NASA sunlight aircraft research, which went up to a high recording last Monday over Niihau.
MEANWHILE, the response of the outside world to the prospects of Navy rockets on Niihau extended from "it's their business" to screams of self-determination and even drastic changes. The first categories are Mary Thronas, Kauai County Council chair, and Clayton Hee, board of trustees of the State Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
Though Thronas thinks that what happens on Niihau is for the Robinsons, he says that County Council is not going to interfere. "It' s a private affair, it' s their own place, they own it, and they should really be the ones who choose it," she said. He says: "We are very worried and very caring for the Niihau mother-tongue people.
We would not, however, claim to be speaking for them or for other Hawaiians without being asked by them. Doing so would be -- I suppose the hawaiian catchphrase is -- maha' oi to put our noses where it may not be guessed. "There is no question, at least in my eyes, if Niihau were obsessed with humans other than the Robinsons, that there would be no such thing as humans and no such thing as languages and cultur.
" The Hawaiians are in some ways grateful to the Robinsons for the languages and cultures that they have today. "He thinks the Robinsons are very attached to Niihau. "Others in the hawaiian fellowship have sharp opinions about niihau. One of Ho'okena's leading singers, Manu Boyd, a Kaumu Hira, said: "The Niihau folk must make up their minds.
Its votes, together with the hosts, must be taken into account against anything that would defile the geo-physical, historic, social and/or intercultural importance of the isle. Since Niihau is such a private issue for those who should be there, it is their choice. "Sabra Kauka, a free-lance author who was writing about the Robinsons for a Forbes journal report on the 400 best homes in America, said: "The Isle must be superior to be led by the local population.
You ( "Niihauans") should choose how to take charge of the Isle. For a long while I think it was a vision of them; they wanted to'own' the Isle. "It is the local population who have not always wanted to develop or interfere in their lifestyle. It' because the Robinsons were protecting, but there comes (also) a lot of them.
"Haunani-Kay Tresk, Executive of the University of Hawaii Center for Hawaiian Studies, therefore rejects any Marine involvement in Niihau. "against the Niihau tribe. "Niihau should return to the lives of the local people," said Tritk.
"You ( "Robinsons") should stop being imperialist of the nineteenth and let the nation determine its ancestry. You should continue with the perspective of the tribal tribes and 21 st centurys reparation and give the islands back - for free. They' re like the landlord; if you behave badly, you're off the isle.
"Several of the humans are pure-blooded. "Lilikala Kame'eleihiwa, Adjunct Associate professor at the UH Center for Hawaiian Studies, said: "I think it's horrible that the Navy wants to make test rocket launching points on Niihau. "Concerning the state' s position on the islands I believe that it should judge the Niihau tribe and simply hand them over to the Niihau population there.
As the Robinsons want to bring things to this country, they have lost their right to be on this country koohiki (chief). "Really, I believe it is best for the Niihau's and the Niihau people's own futures to be able to take it. If they want to expel strangers, they themselves want to lead a peaceful life, they should be granted this right.
" Hawaii' Kekuni Blaisdell, a doctor and campaigner, is "outraged" by the rocket suggestion. "Attorney Mililani Trask, leader of the Ka Lahui Hawai'i group, said: "I am against it, and Ka Lahui has already adopted a motion against the militarization of all the countries of the island. "She proposed to call in specialists to evaluate and design and implement market research agendas for business enterprises with a distinctive Niihau taste such as Niihau jewellery, weaving, musical and exotic fishing.
Hei Niheu of Pu'ukapu Hawaiian Homestead on the Great Isle, whose sire was born in Niihau, wants offspring to be included in the group. It is important to begin to communicate with the remaining population - business activities like developing a PV company there, such things. So why doesn't the state come in and judge some of our tribe there so that every Cana' kawaiian (native Hawaiian) on the islands has his own belongings to give them a feeling of autonomy?
Haunani Apoliona, an official member of the public trust, moderated the discussions by proposing an open dialogue with the Niihau population. "Perhaps you should ask them what they want. Whichever option is selected, I trust there is a equilibrium between the way of life, the economy, the needs of the population and the communities that are in charge of this isle.
" And while Niihau is sunbathing in his blue-grey-green sea, Keith Robinson is worried.