Molokai residents and homesteaders gathered last Saturday to honor the legacy of Prince Jonah Kuhio, who lobbied for the Native Hawaiian advancement and established the 1920 Hawaiian Homes Act, providing land for Hawaiian families.
The annual community event at Lanikeha featured food, Hawaiian crafts, homestead products, exhibits and music. Sponsored by Ahupua`a O Molokai and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the celebration was also an opportunity for homesteaders to join and get information on local homestead associations.
“Molokai is where the first homestead began in the 1920s, and without Prince Kuhio we would not have homestead today,” said Kilia Purdy-Avelino, one of the event’s organizers.…
When Sheldon Wright builds walls, his main focus is to listen. He hefts a rock in his hands, flips it, spins it, lets it fall and hears the clack as it hits the stack of rocks in front of him. To construct walls the way Wright does—the same way ancient Hawaiians did hundreds of years ago—he has to tune into the tools of his trade.
“The rocks speak to me,” said Wright. “They tell me where they want to go.”
Wright fashions the beginnings of a dry stack wall outside Madsen’s home. Photo by Colleen Uechi.
Wright is carrying on the Hawaiian tradition of dry stack masonry in which the rocks are placed in an interlocking fashion that requires no mortar, he said.…
Kula Kaiapuni Kauwela News Release
Celebrating the fourth year of Kula Kaiapuni Kauwela on Molokai, the program will once again be held this summer at Kualapu`u Public Charter School for students entering grades K-9 in the fall. Teachers have been selected: Nahulu Maioho — grades six to eight, Kailana Ritte-Camara — grades four and five, Lokelani Han — grades two and three, and Uluhani Waialeale — grades Kindergarten and first grade. Manuwai Peters will be the site coordinator.
The dates for the 20-day program will be from June 9 through July 7 daily from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Hawaiian language based curricula is designed to engage and excite students in land and ocean activities that emphasize the caring of Molokai resources.…
Ka `Ohana O Kalaupapa News Release
Molokai residents will be offered free admission to the Kalaupapa Photo Exhibit showing at the Molokai Museum and Cultural Center on Sunday, March 15, from 1 to 4 p.m.
The exhibit, titled “A Reflection of Kalaupapa: Past, Present and Future,” was developed by Ka `Ohana O Kalaupapa. It features 100 framed photographs of the people of Kalaupapa and their family members from as early as 1884 through current times.
The museum is normally closed on Sundays, but Noelani Keliikipi, Executive Director of the museum, the Board of Directors and museum volunteers all wanted to make sure Molokai residents had the opportunity to visit.…
Left to right: Kamalu Poepoe, Editor; Opu’ulani Albino, Author; Jeaninne Rossa, Project Manager; Koki Foster, Ka Moe’Uhane Artist; Brandon Hirashima, Ka Wena Artist. Photo courtesy Kualapuu School
Two new Hawaiian language books written by Molokai’s Kumu `Opu`ulani Albino were celebrated at a book signing last Wednesday at the Molokai Public Library. The books fill what Hawaiian immersion teachers at Kualapu`u School identified as a gap in reading material for their students, and are quickly gaining popularity with teachers of `Olelo Hawaii around the state.
“This little school in the middle of the boonies is beginning to put something out there that there’s a need for,” said Kamalu Poepoe, who edited the books.…
Photo by Colleen Uechi.
Last week, residents and visitors at the Molokai Community Health Center got a sneak peek of the talents to come in this year’s Merrie Monarch Festival.
Moana’s Hula Halau, which was invited to participate in the storied hula festival in Hilo this year, held their annual dinner show last Saturday night. Dancers from keiki to kupuna entertained a crowd of hundreds in a fundraiser for festival-bound halau members. It’s been more than 10 years since the halau has performed at the festival.
“To be asked to come again is a privilege for us because we have a lot of new girls and [it’s] a good experience for them,” said halau Kumu Hula Valerie Dudoit-Temahaga.…
Editor’s note: Makahiki is celebrated by students island-wide annually, including students from Aka`ula School. Below, reprinted with permission from Aka`ula’s newsletter, are what students had to say about the experience.
By Sydni Pawn, Sophomore
Lono I Ka Makahiki! It is the time of year when schools from all around Hawaii come together to celebrate Makahiki. Makahiki is the season when ancient Hawaiians observed harvest by holding strength and skill competitions. We play games like `ulu maika, where you roll a circular stone between two stakes. Konane is often called Hawaiian checkers. Pa Uma, is stand up arm-‐wrestling. Schools from around the state visit the sacred Makahiki grounds called Na’iwa.…
Kualapu`u School News Release
Kumu Louella `Opu`ulani Albino has added one more accomplishment to her already significant list for revitalizing `olelo Hawaii on Molokai. She has authored two new Hawaiian language books for children!
Sponsored by a grant from the Hawaii Tourism Authority, and in partnership with Kualapu`u Public Conversion Charter School, Kumu `Opu`ulani addressed a need for more text-based, easy reader chapter books in Hawaiian Language medium education. “Ka Wena,” illustrated by Molokai artist Brandon Hirashima, is filled with short stories of Hawaiian culture in the present-day, as seen through the eyes of a lively group of keiki characters. “Ka Moe`uhane,” illustrated by Molokai artist Jennette “Koki” Foster, is an exciting third grade level mystery novel filled with Hawaiian practices and perspectives that have endured up to our present day.…
Polynesian Voyaging Society News Release
Hokulea crew members, including Molokai’s Mahina Hou Ross, were greeted with Maori ceremonies. Photo courtesy of Polynesian Voyaging Society.
Voyaging canoes Hokule`a and Hikianalia made landfall in Aotearoa (New Zealand) last week and were greeted with traditional Maori welcome ceremonies.
When intrepid Hokule`a crewmembers first sailed to Aotearoa 29 years ago using the traditional Polynesian art of non-instrument navigating, they reopened an ancestral route and rekindled the genealogical connection between Hawaiian and Maori. Now, Hokule`a has returned, with its sister canoe Hikianalia, carrying with her many of the original crewmembers, as well as three from Molokai.…
Every day, Molokai teachers nurture our students in the classroom, spend hours of their own time preparing lessons and assisting youth in afterschool programs, and carry the weight of ensuring the success of the future generation. One Molokai educator was recognized in particular this year for doing it all with grace, and going above and beyond her job description. Molokai Middle School (MMS) Hawaiian Language Immersion teacher `Iolani Kuoha received the Hawaii Association of Middle Schools Educator of the Year award last weekend – and she said she accepted the honor on behalf of her fellow teachers.
“I represent not only myself but all the teachers,” she said.…