Hawaiian Culture

Hawaiian culture stories from Molokai

Celebrating Kuhio

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Celebrating Kuhio

The Lanikeha Community Center transformed into a hearty birthday celebration as local vendors, music and entertainment attracted homesteaders and non-homesteaders alike to celebrate the man who led the 1921 Hawaiian Homes Act and the island where his efforts were first put into practice.

“Without the land, who are we?” said Colette Machado, Molokai chairperson of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA). “We would be homeless if we didn’t have a land base or homestead. That’s how significant Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana`ole was.”

Next in line for the throne when the Kingdom of Hawaii was overthrown in 1894, Kuhio was elected as Hawaii’s congressional delegate, advocating for Hawaiian Homes and rehabilitating his people.…

Lessons in a Whale’s Belly

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Lessons in a Whale’s Belly

Keiki had a whale of a time learning about humpback whales and their place in the environment Friday. But while most have only seen the great creatures from a distance, students at Kilohana School got up close and personal, climbing into the belly of a 36-foot inflatable humpback, softly rocking to soothing whale sounds and taking an imaginative ride around island’s waters.

“My name is Captain Mark and I’ll be your tour guide today,” Storybook Theater Executive Director Mark Jeffers said as he saluted to Kilohana School’s second grade class. “Today we are going to learn how whales are like people.”

Back by popular demand and part of a statewide tour, Jeffers’ traveling classroom stopped on Molokai last week, bringing an entertaining and interactive learning performance to children pre-kindergarten to fifth grade from a variety of schools.…

Konane

Friday, March 14th, 2014

Konane

A Game Played, Value Won

“It’s your move!” said Hiwa Ritte, urging her opponent, Ko`i Davis, who was carefully peering over a finely-made koa konane board. “I’m thinking!”  Ko`i said, scratching her head, pondering which `ili `ele `ele, or black piece, to move in rows of alternating white and black stones.

Described as a test of strategy and intellect, the ancient Hawaiian game of konane, played by ali`i and commoners alike, was considered a favorite pastime to socialize and to even settle disputes, according to Kauai cultural practitioner Sean Chun. Resembling the rules of checkers, it was said a konane tournament could last days and was a regular feature in every household.…

A Legacy of Language

Sunday, March 2nd, 2014

A Legacy of Language

As a child, Kilia Purdy-Avelino remembers often listening to her grandfather carrying on effortless conversation with uncles and friends in `Olelo Hawaii, or the Hawaiian language. He was a manaleo, or grew up with Hawaiian as his first language, she said, and although he never passed down the gift to his family, it was always part of her life.

“He was my inspiration to get into Hawaiian language at all,” said Purdy-Avelino. “I made it my goal in life to learn the language and to be able to converse with him.”

However, only two years into her `olelo studies, her grandfather passed away, and in the course of earning her Masters degree in indigenous and culture education at University of Hawaii-Hilo, her goals included a larger mission.…

Molokai Farm Wins in Ag Contest

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Kamehameha Schools News Release

In an effort to increase Hawaii’s food production and help decrease dependency on imported foods, Kamehameha Schools and Ke Ali`i Pauahi Foundation teamed up to create an agricultural business plan contest. The first Mahi`ai Match-Up hoped to attract experienced farmers with innovative ideas to grow food on vacant agricultural lands owned by Kamehameha Schools. The opportunity attracted 148 local farmers.

The organizations just announced the first, second and third place winners of the contest, and Molokai’s Mapulehu Farms placed third. Winning teams receive an agricultural lease from Kamehameha Schools with up to five years of waived rent and money from Ke Ali`i Pauahi Foundation.…

Hula Under the Banyan

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Hula Under the Banyan

Through a swish of hips, gestures of graceful hands, shake of the `uli `uli and toss of flaming torches, attendees of Moana’s Hula Halau’s annual dinner show were treated to a journey of the elements and senses through hula and Polynesian arts. After the evening of first-class live music and entertainment, the full house of guests offered a standing ovation Saturday at the Molokai Community Health Center. Featuring Tahitian, traditional and modern dances, as well as special guests from Maui with fire and haka performances under the canopy of the banyan tree, the show was both impressive and emotional for many.…

New Permit Process for Fishpond Restoration

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

DLNR News Release

Navigating a complicated and time-consuming regulatory path for restoration of traditional fishpond systems in Hawaii should soon become more efficient and manageable, thanks to a proposed statewide programmatic general permit process. Statewide public hearings on this proposed process are being held to gather input. The Molokai hearing will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 25 at Kulana `Oiwi Halau from 6 to 8 p.m.

Known as Ho`ala Loko I`a, this consolidated process is intended to provide cultural practitioners with a single application and permit, processed by the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands (OCCL).…

`Aha Ho`okuku `Olelo

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

Hui Hoʻola ʻOlelo News Release

Welina e ko Molokai, e na makamaka o ia `aina momona nei.

In celebration of Mahina Aloha `Olelo (Hawaiian Language Month), February, we will be hosting our first `Aha Ho`okuku `Olelo (Hawaiian Language Competition) on Molokai. This event will be held on Friday, Feb. 28 at Kulana `Oiwi Halau. It is open to all levels of Hawaiian Language speakers. There will be two categories: Ho`opa`ana`au (Memorized Verse) and Uluwale (Impromptu). You may choose to enter in just one category or both. Levels will be separated by grades for youth and by skill for adult entries.

Our theme, “He ali`i ka `aina, he kauwa ke kanaka,” honors our ali`i as well as our `aina of Molokai.…

Pulling Weeds in Halawa

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Pulling Weeds in Halawa

Community Contributed

By Shawn and Melissa Bryson

This is a story told from one gardener to another, when someone offers to pull weeds, you let ‘em.  As a ha`ole and a mainlander, I come to Molokai with my wife to be changed by the island, not to change the island.  Molokai isn’t just the navel of Hawaii or the former bread basket of the islands; it is also the kumu island, an island of sacred teachings.  We are thankful those teachings are sacred and not secret. We want to thank so many different folks for the aloha they have shared with us. …

I Mua Makahiki

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

I Mua Makahiki

Thousands gathered from Molokai and around the state to perpetuate the traditional season of peace and harvest and test their strength and athletic prowess in Ka Molokai Makahiki. In its 33rd year of revival after observation of the ancient season had dwindled around Hawaii, the three-day event drew record numbers to celebrate both the meaning behind the event and its friendly competition.

“People say, ‘if you want to see the original, go to Molokai,’” said Walter Ritte, one of the event’s organizers. “We’ve kept it low key so it has the cultural essence to it… the feel and spirit of Makahiki is strongest here.”

Onlookers crowded close, cheering as their favorite teams competed in such events as uma (arm wrestling), kukini (running races), ulu maika (Hawaiian bowling) and others.…