History

Stories about Molokai’s rich cultural history.

Molokai Dispatch Celebrates 30 Years

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

Thirty years ago, the first issues of The Molokai Dispatch were pasted together with rubber cement, hand delivered to off-island printers, and, granted the weather was good, delivered each Wednesday to Molokai readers.

Over time, operations moved between three locations, five owners, countless writers and interns and three taglines (remember ‘The Coconut Wireless of Molokai?’). Amidst the changes, the Dispatch has emerged as the longest standing—and currently only—newspaper on the island.

Each week, The Molokai Dispatch brings news to the island while upholding a set of values and guidelines aimed toward community empowerment and healthy dialogue through responsible journalism. The Dispatch has developed a focus on youth, culture, history, politics and the environment to best serve the interests of the entire Molokai community.…

Kalaupapa Nonprofit Earns Awards

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

Ka `Ohana O Kalaupapa News Release

Ka `Ohana O Kalaupapa was presented with two Preservation Awards by the Historic Hawaii Foundation at their annual awards banquet in Honolulu last month.

One of the projects cited was the exhibit, “A Reflection of Kalaupapa: Past, Present and Future” that features 100 photographs and quotes from the people of Kalaupapa and their families. The exhibit is currently on display at the Molokai Museum and Cultural Center in Kalae.

The `Ohana was also recognized for “The Restoration of Family Ties” program that has helped hundreds of families obtain more information about their Kalaupapa ancestors who were sent there because of government policies regarding leprosy or who were kama`aina prior to the establishment of the settlement in 1866.…

DHHL Seeks to Fence Off Grove

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

 

With Molokai’s historic Kapuaiwa Coconut Grove suffering from disease and human pollution, the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) has reached out to the State Historical Preservation Division (SHPD) to ask for guidance in fencing off the property.

Residents have been voicing their concerns at recent community meetings, explaining that they used to be able to see straight through the grove to the ocean. Now overgrowth and trash have obscured the view, and they want to see the grove be protected from human intrusion.

“For me I feel our resources are there for everybody,” said resident Kauila Reyes at a May 21 community meeting.…

Honoring the Ultimate Sacrifice

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

Honoring the Ultimate Sacrifice

Photo by Catherine Cluett.

On Memorial Day last Monday, families gathered to place fresh flowers on the markers of loved ones at the Ho`olehua Veterans Cemetery, while local veterans and community members joined in a ceremony to honor the ultimate sacrifice of their comrades and fellow residents. Boy Scouts placed American flags on each grave, which fluttered in the breeze that morning.

While there is sometimes confusion about the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day, veteran David Nanod explained that Memorial Day is to remember those who have passed, while Veterans Day honors the living.

During the graveside ceremony, Nanod read the names of Molokai residents who gave their lives in battle, and a bell was rung for each.…

Ka Hula Piko T-Shirts

Friday, May 29th, 2015

Ka Hula Piko T-Shirts

Halau Hula o Kukunaokala News Release

In Native Hawaiian tradition, it is common for natural elements to symbolize body forms of ancestors.  The natural element will usually have characteristics that are reminiscent of the ancestor represented.  This year’s Molokai Ka Hula Piko T-shirts will be available for purchase on Saturday, June 6 at this year’s Ka Hula Piko celebration at Lanikeha Community Center from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

This year’s design depicts kinolau, or body forms, representative of Laka and `Olohe.  It symbolizes the foundation and commitment of their given kuleana to malama all that they were entrusted with.

The `Ie`ie vine only grows and flourishes with the aid of an unyielding foundation. …

Nonprofit Receives OHA Grant to Restore Fishponds

Friday, May 29th, 2015

KHM News Release

Ka Honua Momona (KHM), a Molokai nonprofit focused on sustainability mauka a makai (from the mountains to the sea), has recently been awarded a $200,000 grant from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to restore two Hawaiian fishponds, Ali`i and Kaloko`eli.

The greater goal of the project is to return momona (health and abundance) to the land and people of Molokai through the community-based restoration of two ancient Hawaiian fishponds.

Ali`i and Kaloko`eli, located just past Kaunakakai Town, are approximately 30 acres each and were originally built in the 15th century. KHM holds a license for both fishponds, as well as 1.5 acres adjacent to Ali`i Fishpond, from the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.…

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.…