Bill ensures Native Hawaiians can practice ancient tradition in which body cleansed in fire

The governor of Hawaii has signed a bill ensuring Native Hawaiians can practice an ancient tradition in which a corpse is cleansed by fire and the bones are held as sacred in a cloth before being buried.

Gov. David Ige signed the bill Tuesday amid concerns by crematories that the rarely used practice might be illegal.

Some supporters promoted the move as environmentally friendly because bones could be buried in a basket and take up less space than a modern casket on the small island.

Mahealani Cypher, an advocate of the bill, says Hawaiians will probably utilize crematories instead of the outdoor ovens people used in ancient times.

The funeral industry is trying to figure out how to accommodate the custom.