History

Stories about Molokai’s rich cultural history.

Ka Hula Piko 2015 Theme

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

Halau Hula o Kukunaokala News Release

`Ae no Laka ka mole Ha`a o Ka`ana, `Ae no `Olohe ka mole Lua o Ka`ana. Recognized is Laka the root of Hula of Ka`ana, recognized is `Olohe the root of Lua at Ka`ana.

Each year at Ka Hula Piko we celebrate and honor the traditions and practices of our kupuna (elders) who have gone before us.  We strive to educate and enlighten all people about the pre-Western history of Molokai and to perpetuate the legacy of our beloved Kumu Hula, John Ka`imikaua.  With great effort we have worked to maintain the integrity of the `ike (knowledge) that was left in our care. …

Mo`olelo of Laka and `Olohe

Friday, May 15th, 2015

Community Contributed

Editor’s Note: Molokai Ka Hula Piko is a three-day native Hawaiian cultural festival celebrating the birth of hula on Molokai.  Founded in 1991 by the late Kumu Hula John Kaimikaua, the festival continues to educate and enlighten all people of pre-Western Hawaii through excursions and a culminating celebration happening this year on June 4-6.  Each year a theme is chosen, and this year’s theme centers around the contributions of Laka and `Olohe.

By John Kaimikaua, contributed by Halau Hula o Kukunaokala

In Molokai tradition, the martial art form of lua evolved from out of the hula. Laka learned the art of the dance from her older sister Kapo`ulakina`u on the hill Pu`u Nana at Ka`ana on the top of Maunaloa, west Molokai.…

Wild West End: Molokai Ranch Heritage Rodeo

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

Wild West End: Molokai Ranch Heritage Rodeo

Photo by Colleen Uechi.

As the bullriders packed up their protective gear and the last riders led their horses out of the Molokai Ranch arena, cowboy Maka Augustiro beamed with quiet pride. His 14-year-old son Chevy had just braved several long seconds in the ring with a madly bucking bull and won uproarious cheers from the crowd for his efforts. For the Augustiros and many other Molokai families, last Saturday’s Molokai Ranch Heritage Rodeo was a chance to admire each other’s grit and talent – and sometimes compete against each other.

“It gives us a time to come and have what we call a playdate for us, a time where we can make a sport of the work we do on the ranch,” said long-time paniolo Jimmy Duvauchelle.…

Paniolo Round Up for Rodeo

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

This Saturday, 80 paniolo from around the state will gather at the Jimmy Duvauchelle Arena for the first annual Molokai Ranch Heritage Rodeo, to celebrate a colorful slice of Hawaiian culture that was born to counter an environmental problem in mid-1800s Hawaii.

At that time, with newly introduced cattle threatening native crops and people, according to hawaiihistory.org, Kamehameha III realized the need to round up the rampaging livestock. He invited Mexican cowboys to the islands to instruct Hawaiians in horse riding and cattle herding, creating the paniolo and ranching lifestyle that is still a way of life for many in Hawaii.…

Kalaupapa Conserves Pieces of History

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

Kalaupapa Conserves Pieces of History

Community Contributed

By Carrie Mardorf, Chief of Cultural Resources, Kalaupapa National Historical Park

From March 9 to 20, Kalaupapa National Historical Park hosted two conservators, Curtis Sullivan and Theresa Voellinger, to conserve a number of significant objects within the park’s curatorial facility.  Sullivan and Voellinger are employed at Harpers Ferry Center, a specialized National Park Service (NPS) conservation and interpretive center in West Virginia.

Curtis Sullivan of Harpers Ferry Center cleans the surface of the Bishop Home crib.

During the course of two weeks, nine objects associated with Kalaupapa were conserved, including a crib from Bishop Home, an end table owned by Kenso Seki, large poi board, three ledger books from the American Japanese Association Hall, an Ed Kato sketch, and birth certificate and passport of Kenso Seki.…

Celebrating Prince Kuhio

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

Celebrating Prince Kuhio

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.…

Kalaupapa Exhibit One-Day Free Showing

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

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.…

Reading Between the Lines to Freedom

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

For 19th century slaves in America, a hand-stitched quilt was more than just bedding; it was a map to freedom. As Black History Month kicked off at the Molokai Public Library last Wednesday, Molokai resident John Wordin shared the little-known story of the secret role quilts played in bringing enslaved African Americans to safety.

Wordin’s presentation was inspired by the book “Hidden in Plain View,” which details the history of the system of coded quilts.

“Slaves were deliberately kept from getting any education. They were illiterate,” said Wordin. “You couldn’t just give them a handout and say, ‘Well, these are directions as to where to go and who to talk to.’”

Instead, instructions were secretly stitched into shapes on quilts and hung in the windows of homes that formed the Underground Railroad, the covert network of routes leading to the free North.…

Honoring Dr. King

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Honoring Dr. King

Photo courtesy of Siri Anderson.

On Jan. 17, Molokai paid tribute to a man who left a legacy of equality and social justice. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was not just observed as a holiday, but as a Day of Service on Molokai, with students gathering on the Public Library grounds to remember the true meaning of the occasion.

Interval House Molokai joined with Aka`ula School and the Molokai Public Library to put on a program that included portions of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech in more than half a dozen languages, while Aka`ula School students opened the event with “Music of the Movement,” a civil rights musical celebration.…

Healing of an Island

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

For 50 years beginning during World War II, the island of Kaho`olawe was rocked by bombs, dropped by the U.S. military for naval training. Hawaii residents recall hearing the explosions and feeling the ground shake as missiles left gouges in the earth. Now, after decades of protest efforts, cultural reconnection and environmental restoration, a process of healing is continuing as a strategic plan is being developed to guide Kaho`olawe’s future.

Once a spiritual and cultural center for Native Hawaiians, trespassing on Kaho`olawe was prohibited for half a century. In the early 1970s, people began questioning those laws, and in 1976, the Protect Kaho`olawe `Ohana (PKO) formed and filed a suit in federal court to stop the bombing.…