Facebook Post Outlines Why You Should Never Take Rocks from Hawaii
Photo via Facebook
A Hawaiian Airlines employee noticed a family bringing lava rocks and black sand from the island home from their vacation recently, and gave the family a polite and informative lesson on culture, law – and taboo.
As Malia Mahi explained on her Facebook page, a Hawaiian Airlines flight was deplaning on Maui when she noticed a piece of black rock sticking out of the side pocket of a child’s backpack. Black rocks formed by centuries of volcanic activity on Hawaii has made them a beautiful part of the beach, famous, and, unfortunately, ripe for the picking for some looking to take home a souvenir.
That’s exactly what a young child told her when Mahi asked where he got the rocks.
“Oh, on the big island,” Mahi quoted the boy as saying. “We’re keeping it for a souvenir.”
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But the land and the sea are an extraordinary part of Hawaiian culture, and Mahi politely informed the family of such. The family was completely appreciative and quickly returned what turned out to be a fairly large box of the rocks and sand.
For one, Mahi told the family, it’s illegal. It is against the law to take any minerals from within a United States national park, as Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is.
Two, it is an insult to the culture to remove what is native to the land.
Three, it’s taboo. Bad luck. No Bueno. Haven’t you ever watched The Brady Bunch episode when the family vacationed in Hawaii?
“Luckily,” Mahi wrote on her Facebook page, “we're flying right back to Hilo and able to return this to the aina (land) and good thing I'm wearing my pale (protection), Ti-Leaf and Cedar/Juniper bracelets).”
Hawaiian Airlines also shot a video of another employee returning the box of rocks to the beachside where they were taken.
“If you were born and raised here, you should know you don’t take it off the island,” the man says. “If you’re not from here, or you’re planning on coming to Hawaii, you should know something. You do not take no rocks, you do not take no sand, back home. Because it’s bad luck. If you don’t believe me, you can find out for yourself. Have a good day. Aloha!
Mahi elaborated on her Facebook page.
“As a side note, for those of you visiting our Hawaiian islands or those who do not understand/know the importance of this, these items are considered kapu/forbidden to take with you for a few reasons,” she wrote. “It's illegal to take minerals from a national park & its bad luck! For more information, please research & google although its common courtesy that you don't take what doesn't belong to you. For those of you who do know of this kapu, please no criticizing! It's our kuleana (responsibility) to simply inform/educate those who are unaware.”
More by Rich Thomaselli
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