Hawaiian Culture

Hawaiian culture stories from Molokai

Blessing of a New Canoe

Friday, January 24th, 2014

Blessing of a New Canoe

Members and friends of Molokai’s Wa`akapaemua Canoe Club gathered last week to celebrate the blessing of a new canoe. Made by Tiger Canoes on Hawaii Island, the six-man vessel is designed for open ocean and built to be light and maneuverable, representing the latest advances in the traditional sport. Wa`akapaemua members say the canoe is an exciting step forward for the club, whose paddlers have a history of top finishes in state and channel races.

The canoe was christened “`Ukiukiu,” a name that refers to one of Molokai’s winds.

“Since this was a racing canoe, an appropriate name should reflect movement, speed, or reflect winning or something of that nature,” said club board members, via email, referring to consultations with fluent Hawaiian language speakers and cultural practitioners about the canoe’s name.…

Molokai’s Oldest Banyans

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Molokai’s Oldest Banyans

Community Contributed

By Arleone Dibben-Young

Molokai’s first banyan tree was given as a gift from Rev. William C. Love to Mrs. Sophie B. Cooke in 1908 and planted at the Molokai Ranch assistant manager’s house at Kualapu`u where the family had moved when her husband George P. Cooke began employment as bookkeeper and assistant manager of the American Sugar Company and its subsidiary the Molokai Ranch.  Later that year a young tree propagated from this banyan was planted at the shoreline of the Kaunakakai assistant manager’s house. This house was remodeled in 1945 and opened as the Seaside Inn, and remodeled again in 1950 as the Pau Hana Inn.…

Stones with Stories

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Stones with Stories

Archeologist tells Molokai’s history through rocks

On the windy, rocky coastline of northwestern Molokai, Dr. Marshall Weisler picked up a stone. But it wasn’t just any rock; this stone, like many in the Molokai Land Trust’s Mokio Preserve, has a story.

Weisler is an archeologist and professor at Australia’s University of Queensland. He’s no stranger to Molokai — he’s been coming here at least once a year for the past 35 years to study the island’s many historic sites and piece together a picture of how ancient Hawaiians lived.

To the untrained eye, the rock Weisler held in his hand looks like any other scattered in this arid landscape.…

“The Legend of Ko`olau”

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

“The Legend of Ko`olau”

Performance brings history to life

The stage was set and the lights dimmed at Kulana `Oiwi Halau as a piece of Hawaiian history came to life last Tuesday night. Brought to Molokai by the Maui Arts and Cultural Center, the performance, called “The Legend of Ko`olau” written by Gary Kubota, is based on the true story of Ko`olau, a man who evaded being exiled to Kalawao after he and his son caught Hansen’s Disease.

“It’s a compelling story and I think it needed to be told,” said Kubota, who is also a reporter for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. “Hopefully it will give the opportunity for people to understand and be interested to study Native Hawaiian history.”

The performance illustrates Ko’olau’s life as a family man who fought a rebel militia that had overthrown the Hawaiian monarchy and enforced leprosy laws in 1893.…

Planting Seeds for the Future

Sunday, November 17th, 2013

Before Western contact, Native Hawaiians were able to feed a population of one million while following a sustainable way of life, according to the documentary, “Na Kupu Mana`olana — Seeds of Hope.” But in the last 50 years alone, half of Hawaiian farmland has been developed and today, 85 percent of the state’s food is imported.

“We are currently in a crisis,” said Robert Harris, director of Sierra Club Hawaii, in the documentary.

The film, produced by The Hawaii Rural Development Council (HRDC), premiered on Molokai at Kalaniana`ole Hall Saturday night. It highlighted the state’s agricultural evolution and the unsustainable challenges we’re currently facing as a community.…

Ropin’ in the Rain

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

Ropin’ in the Rain

Competition got a little dirty during the first day of the eighth annual Molokai Stampede at Kapualei Ranch. Squinting through pouring rain, gripping slippery ropes as their horses sent mud flying across the arena, cowboys toughed it out through stormy conditions last Saturday. Eighty-five teams were narrowed down to eight by the final round of stiff competition in the # 11 team roping events, while the afternoon’s keiki and barrel events were postponed from the downpour.

“Rain changes strategy and game plan — anyone can rope under perfect conditions, but who can rope [when it’s not perfect]?” said emcee Zhantell Dudoit during the event.…

“Na Kupu Mana`olana — Seeds of Hope” Premier on Molokai

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

By Jamie Ronzello, MOM Hui

It has been estimated that Hawaii currently imports 85 percent of their food.  However, if we were to look at the history of the Hawaiian Islands, it was not that long ago that the Hawaiian people produced enough food to support a population of one million. Yet today, with the rising costs of shipping foods and the resurgence in the community to return to land, is there hope that Hawaii can feed itself once again?

Come see the acclaimed documentary “Na Kupu Mana`olana — Seeds of Hope” that chronicles the history and current challenges of agriculture in Hawaii today.…

Legend of Ko`olau Free Performance

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

MACC News Release

Molokai residents will get a unique view into a facet of Hawaii history on Monday, Nov. 11with a free performance of “The Legend of Ko`olau.” The play by local author Gary T. Kubota is being offered on island by the Maui Arts & Cultural Center (MACC).

“The Legend Of Ko`olau”  is a one-man play, acted by Ed Ka`ahea and directed by Keo Woolford, telling the story of a Hawaiian man who became an “outlaw” while  trying to protect his family’s right to live on the land in Kauai after the loss of Hawaiian sovereignty in 1893.  The enforcement of leprosy laws at that time would have consigned  Kaluaiko`olau and his son to the “Living Grave” settlement at Kalaupapa, but Ko`olau’s wife  Pi`ilani was resolved  to keep the family together.…

Kamali`i Kane

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

Kamali`i Kane

Community Contributed

By Royden Abafo

Editor’s Note: Royden, a middle school student at Aka`ula School, originally wrote this in the school’s Oct. 25 newsletter. It is reprinted in its entirety here.

“Ladies and gentlemen, your new Kamalii Kane 2013, Royden Kohuali’imaikekahi Abafo.” During the Aloha Week Festival, I was the prince in the Royal Court. It wasn’t really that easy to walk and stand up in front of the public. I was presented with a yellow cape and a yellow helmet by the king. The whole court had to sit down for two and a half hours straight without talking, laughing, drinking or eating.…

Kiawe Beans Pods Not Just Food For Livestock

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Kiawe Beans Pods Not Just Food For Livestock

Community Contributed

By Mercy Ritte

As you know, our kiawe trees produce an abundance of bean pods every year. Not only is it a nutritious food source for livestock, but also for people. In its native lands, dried kiawe bean pods ground into meal or flour is considered a staple food. It is very delicious and adds a sweet nutty taste to breads, pancakes, muffins, cakes and cookies. It is also gluten free, GMO free, highly nutritious, diabetic friendly and can be used to make syrup, jelly, tea, milk, and wine. Unlike wheat that digests within one to two hours, kiawe takes four to six hours to digest, resulting in delay of hunger pangs.…