HONOLULU (KHON2) — Shortly after 11 a.m., Jason Momoa arrived at Mauna Kea to much fanfare. Momoa alluded to his arrival in an Instagram post Tuesday night.
Momoa has long been an opponent of the Thirty-Meter telescope being constructed on Mauna Kea.
His local ties run deep. That connection was on full display this afternoon when he visited the base of Mauna Kea.
Jason Momoa visited the Puu Honua o Puu huluhulu today, kneeling to present his hookupu, or gift, to the kia’i, showing his full respect and support for the protection of Mauna Kea.
Momoa and his ʻohana were welcomed with oli, hula and thousands of people.
“I’m so very honored to be here in Hawaii in front of my children and all of my ohana. To meet everyone and spend time with you today,” said Momoa. “Sorry for taking so long. I’ve been busy.”
Momoa went on to thank the protectors and remind everyone that he will continue to support them.
“We are not going anywhere. I’m not going anywhere. Mahalo,” said Momoa.
His visit comes on an important day in Hawaiian history.
“La Ho’i ho’i ea was a day that celebrated the return of sovereignty of our government to Ka’i Keauli, Kamehameha III,” said Kia’i and Cultural Practitioner Dr. Noe Noe Wong Wilson
The holiday was first celebrated on July 31, 1843. Additional ceremony took place today and a flag was taken to the summit and raised there in honor of the occasion.
KHON2 noticed that many of the Hawaiian flags were upright on this day.
“Yes,” said Dr. Noe Noe Wong Wilson. “That’s right. Today’s a special holiday so today we rise as a kingdom.”
The celebration comes just one day after Governor David Ige removed his emergency proclamation.
“That was part of our demand, that was part of our negotiation, we were happy that he complied with our requests. We’ll see the next step,” said Dr. Wong Wilson.
The kiai say the logical next step would be for TMT to move to La Palma in the Canary Islands.
Momoa’s much-anticipated visit comes after visits by musician, Jack Johnson and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Many others have posted their support for the kiaʻi via social media, mega superstar Bruno Mars being the latest.
This follows three weeks of the standoff between kanaka maoli and state officials and TMT. The weeks have been marked with the arrests of kupuna, an emergency proclamation, accusations of drinking and drugs, press conference after press conference and a sharing of culture among the Pacific peoples who have come to support the kiaʻi.
On Tuesday, Gov. David Ige withdrew the emergency proclamation and the TMT group were given a two-year extension to begin construction atop Mauna Kea.
With two storm systems approaching the state, it remains to be seen whether the kiaʻi will stand their ground at the Mauna.