Manataka American Indian Council




May 28, 2006



Ratlesnake Island (action alert)
Sacred Lands Need Support!


Rattlesnake Island (info posted on web site is the sacred homelands of the Mesopotamia of the Pomo Nations has been nominated to the Office of State Historic Preservation, submitted by Dr. John Parker.

The Tribes have been in a battle with John Nady, a millionaire (invented the Wireless Mic) owner of Nady Systems, Inc. (his factory was built on the Shell mound Burials in Emmeryville, CA) two years ago.  They have been in direct dispute with his purchase of the Island as he has desecrated sites while violating a county stop work order and CEQA laws.

If you can forward this information to any support groups, tribes on your list we are seeking support letters and legal assistance. The State Historical Resources Commission has tentatively scheduled the hearing for the Island. 

Office of Historic Preservation
P.O. Box 942896
Sacramento, CA 94296-0001
TEL: 916-653-6624
FAX: 916-653-9824

State Historical Resources Commission


Update to the Rattle Snake Island Story:


(SACRAMENTO) An island located in Clear Lake has been nominated for a state historic designation.

The California State Historical Resources Commission voted unanimously to nominate Rattlesnake Island to be archaeologically significant enough to be included on the National Register of Historic Places.

That decision, reached May 5, will make it challenging for the owner of record, John Nady of Emeryville, to pursue development plans.


However, Jim Brown, tribal administrative officer for the Elem Colony the Pomo tribe whose ancestral lands reportedly include Rattlesnake Island was very pleased with the decision.

"This means a moral victory for the tribe and all the people," said Brown. "It will put up a roadblock for development."



Hawaiian Sacred Site Discovered


More than 20 rare, carved wooden figures dating to the early 19th century recently were discovered in a cave at North Kona, Hawaii, according to several newspaper reports from the Big Island.


The objects are believed to be tiki, which native Hawaiians refer to as "ki'i," or carved images of gods thought to house spirits.

Construction crew workers accidentally breached the lava tube cave while preparing for a 450-acre residential and golf development at Kohanaiki. News reports said state officials were brought in to further investigate the cave, which now is sealed and under 24-hour security watch.


Lava tube caves are caves that form from fluid lava that has hardened. Similar to limestone caves, some lava tube caves in Hawaii go 50 feet into the ground.


The California firm of Kennedy-Wilson International owns the property, which is being developed by Rutter Development Corporation.


Hawaiian historian Herb Kane told The Honolulu Star Bulletin that the figures, in various stages of carving, might have been hidden in the cave when the traditional Hawaiian pagan religion was outlawed in 1819.

Christian missionaries already had settled the islands, and they were supported by island leaders King Liholiho Kamehameha II, along with his regent stepmother Ka'ahumanu. After the ban, pagan stone temples were destroyed and all wooden idols within sight were burned.


The tiki had formed a central role in the religion. Most of the objects represented human-like figures with legs usually bent under the body. "Tiki" also refers to the name of the first man, according to Polynesian tradition.


An archaeological consultant with the North Kona's site developer, Paul Rosendahl, said that since no human bones were found in the lava tube cave, the landowner controlled rights to the found objects. Three West Hawaiian cultural groups, however, are fighting those claims. The groups are Kohanaiki 'Ohana, Pono I Ke Kanawai, and Na Keiki He'e Nalu O Hawai'i.


In a joint statement, the groups said: "Rutter, with their consultants and advisors, are wrong to see our ki'i as their property, and that only they will decide what's best for and when to exclude the Hawaiian people. We challenge their assertion, and remind them that Gods do not belong to individuals, they belong to the community whose values and practices they represent. They are the cultural and intellectual property of a social group, and the society that the sacred icons symbolize and represents have the right to determine the care and disposition of their god-forms."


The site's developers counter that they are working with people who have family ties to the region.  In the meantime, the cave, and its mysterious tiki, remain sealed and under constant watch.


Sunny Greer, cultural programs director with Hawaii's Historic Preservation Division, told Discovery News, "Since the owner believes that dissemination of knowledge of cave location or resources could be detrimental to their protection, the department must keep all government information with respect to the cave location and sensitive cave resources confidential."


Submitted by Carol Elk Looks Back Petersen


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