Hawaiian Culture

Hawaiian culture stories from Molokai

Celebrating a Queen’s Love of Kalo

Thursday, October 8th, 2015

Celebrating a Queen’s Love of Kalo

Young enthusiasts show off their harvest. All photos courtesy of Harmonee Williams.

At last month’s Taro Field Day, Molokai residents celebrated cultural and agricultural traditions, harvested their own kalo to grown in their backyards, and participated in a prestigious cooking contest honoring a queen’s commitment to taro.

The annual event offers community members a chance to learn about and be a part of efforts to preserve dozens of historic taro species, as well as taste test poi and kulolo made from varieties grown here on Molokai at the UH Maui Community College Farm in Ho`olehua. Attendees could also venture into the field after receiving a labelled map to select and harvest plants of their favorite varieties.…

Kulaia: One Community, One Wa`a

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Kulaia: One Community, One Wa`a

Photo by Catherine Cluett.

Last Friday on the closed main street of Kaunakakai town, children spoke Hawaiian fluidly. Community members pounded poi while shop owners told ancestral stories through their handmade crafts. Hawaiian culture was alive and well at Molokai’s second annual Kulaia, a celebration whose purpose was reconnecting with traditions of the past.

“I like the idea that it’s a historical event that we’re trying to revive in our own Molokai way,” said resident Pulama Lima. “… I think it brings our community together in a way that people look at us as this model of aloha and this model of why we still continue this life of subsistence.”

An event that once accompanied outrigger races and national holidays in mid-1800s Hawaii, Kulaia was planned to accompany this year’s Na Wahine O Ke Kai.…

Weather Cancels Women’s Channel Race

Sunday, September 27th, 2015

Weather Cancels Women’s Channel Race

For the first time in 35 years, the annual Na Wahine O Ke Kai women’s channel race between Molokai and Oahu was cancelled the evening before the race due to weather concerns. With a small craft advisory calling for swells up to 12 feet and a wind advisory predicting 35 mph winds with gusts up to 50 mph on Sunday, race officials made a difficult decision to call off the 41-mile crossing of the unpredictable Ka`iwi Channel. It will not be rescheduled this year.

“It is with heavy hearts that the Na Wahine O Ke Kai Committee announced the cancellation of the 2015 race,” announced the race’s Facebook page.  …

Hikianalia Honors Mel Paoa

Friday, September 25th, 2015

Hikianalia Honors Mel Paoa

Photo by Todd Yamashita.

The Hikianalia, sister voyaging canoe of the Hokule`a, and its crew docked on Molokai last Saturday to honor Molokai Hokule`a captain Uncle Mel Paoa, who passed away last month. Paoa’s memorial services was held on Sunday, attended by hundreds of residents, friends and members of the Polynesian Voyaging Society.…

Connecting Culture and a Canoe Race

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

Connecting Culture and a Canoe Race

Hawaiian immersion students participating in last year’s Kulaia celebration. Photo courtesy of Lori-Lei Rawlins-Crivello.

Fifty years ago on the evenings before major outrigger canoe races, Molokai residents and paddling crews from Hawaii and around the world camped together on the shores of Hale o Lono Harbor. They shared tents, meals, music and conversation under the stars.

“It was really good for everybody to get together. No matter what club you were in, everybody had fun together,” said local fisherman Mervin Dudoit, who paddled in seven Molokai Hoe races during the 1960s. “… Now most guys don’t talk to the next team [before a race].”

As races got more competitive and a good night’s sleep more valuable, lodging separately in hotels or local homes became commonplace.…

Aloha on the High Seas

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

Aloha on the High SeasQ&A with Hokulea crewmember Kawika Crivello

Kawika Crivello on the sweep. Photo: Oiwi TV. Photographer: Maui Tauotaha.

A handful of Molokai residents have been honored to be invited as crew on the Hokulea, a double-hulled voyaging canoe whose first journey from Hawaii to Tahiti in 1976 successfully replicated ancient Polynesian travel using traditional navigation techniques. The late Mel Paoa and Penny Martin began a long tradition of Molokai crewmembers, among them Kawika Crivello. He was one four local watermen to complete legs of the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage, a 47,000-mile journey that will conclude in 2017. While not his first voyage, Crivello served as steersman on a leg across the dangerous Tasman Sea between New Zealand and Australia between April and June of this year.…

Hawaii-Made Film Showcases Anti-Bullying

Friday, September 18th, 2015

HI State Public Library News Release

The Hawaii State Public Library System will present “A Place in the Middle,” a Hawaii-made anti-bullying film at the heart of a new culturally-centered campaign for safe and inclusive schools, in a series of free community screenings at eight selected public libraries statewide, and on Molokai on Oct. 28.

Created by Kumu Hina Wong-Kalu and directed by Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson, “A Place in the Middle” tells the true-life story of a young Hawaiian girl who dreams of leading the boys-only hula troupe at her Honolulu school, and an inspiring teacher who uses traditional culture to empower her.…

Lomilomi Healing

Friday, September 18th, 2015

Molokai Canoe Festivals Committee News Release

Lomilomi is the manipulation and reconstruction of one’s physical being. Together, the patient and practitioner work together guided by the spirit seeking to restore mental and emotional balance. For true healing to exist the focus is not the patient but rather the entire family unit. We do not treat sickness, we treat the patient, and the patient can only be fully restored when they are in a state of pono, or balance, which thrives within their surroundings.

Ka Pa o Lonopuha is a group of practitioners dedicated to restoring the health and well-being back into our homes once again.…

90 Years of Homesteading

Friday, September 18th, 2015

Ho`olehua Homestead Association News Release

On Oct. 28-30, a celebration will be held to commemorate the 90th year of Hawaiian homesteading in the Ho`olehua/Palaau area of Molokai. Events to take place will be displays of family genealogies, pictures, and sharing of family histories both oral and written. The culminating celebration will take place on the evening of the 30th with a pa`ina and recognition of individual families. More information will be forthcoming.

The committee is seeking donations for this celebration. All inquiries please contact Ochie Bush at 567-6027 or Nona Kaawa at 567-6442.…

Taro Field Day to Host Queen’s Challenge Taro Competition

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

Sust`aina ble Molokai and UH Cooperative Extension Service News Release

The Molokai Taro Variety Field Day will be held on Saturday, Sept. 19 at the Molokai Applied Research and Demonstration Farm, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The annual event has been organized by the UH Cooperative Extension Service since 1985, and is something that many residents look forward to. This year promises to be another outstanding event.

An important highlight of this year’s Taro Day is The Queen’s Challenge Taro Competition. This year, Molokai has been selected to host the competition, which is held annually at selected sites around the Pae `Aina in honor of Queen Emma Kalanikaumakaamano Kaleleonalani Na`ea Rooke, who recognized the value of the Hawaiian taro varieties and has written in detail on methods she used to produce large kalo (taro).…