Lawmakers consider measures to aid Hawaiian burial practices

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii lawmakers are considering legislation to accommodate traditional Hawaiian burial practices through a technology aimed at replacing burial or traditional cremation.

Supporters of water cremation promoted the alternative while members of the funeral services industry said the technique could bring higher costs, Hawaii Public Radio reported Wednesday.

Traditional Hawaiian burial practices involve the preservation and protection of bones in the belief that they carry a person’s spiritual essence.

Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, head of the Oahu Island Burial Council, said bodies were traditionally placed in underground ovens to remove flesh from bones, which were then wrapped and hidden to preserve the bodies’ spirits.

Democratic state Sen. Jarrett Keohokalole introduced two bills that would allow the use of water cremation, which is also known as alkaline hydrolysis.


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