History

Stories about Molokai’s rich cultural history.

Veterans Corner

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

Community Contributed

By Jesse Church

Aloha my fellow veterans and residents of Molokai, old Jesse here with all the veterans news and upcoming events. Kick the bucket, bite the dust, pushing up daisies. All creative ways to say, he or she is no longer with us, and of course the military way to highlight death is, he bought the farm. Why? Around WWII, pilots began to say that when a jet crashed on a farm, the farmer usually sued the government for damages done to his farm by the crash. The amount demanded was either more than or equal to the mortgage, around $10,000 at the time, buying the farm outright.…

Lei in Remembrance

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Lei in Remembrance

With colorful lei draped carefully over each arm, volunteers set out across the gently sloping Papaloa cemetery in Kalaupapa last week with the goal of honoring and remembering each and every kupuna buried on the peninsula.

Pausing briefly at each marker to lay a hand or say a quiet prayer, the group quietly made their way through the acres of headstones, lovingly leaving a lei at each one.

The Makanalua peninsula, commonly known as Kalaupapa, serves as the final resting place for thousands of Hansen’s disease patients who were once banished there.

After more than a century of being exiled to the peninsula, patients were given the freedom to leave Kalaupapa on June 30, 1969, when Hawaii Revised Statute 326 lifted the ban on their isolation.…

Blast from the Past

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Blast from the Past

The unearthing of time capsules at the 75th anniversary of Molokai High School, held last month, brought back many memories. Pictured here are staff and faculty in 1989 from a photo buried at the 50th anniversary.

A letter dated May 26, 1989 from then-principal Clifford Horita expressed wishes from the past.

“When this message is read in the year 2014, we want to wish all of you greetings from 1989,” he wrote. “I hope that Molokai’s ‘friendliest spirit” still exist in 2014 as it is existing today. We wish all of you a successful 75th celebration.”

The letter was carefully wrapped in plastic, along with many other memorabilia, including the May 1989 Anniversary and Senior Special Edition of Ke Kukui `O Molokai, the student newspaper of the high and intermediate schools.…

A Show from the History Books

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

A Show from the History Books

Community Contributed

Editor’s note: For decades, Bob Hope brought entertainment and smiles to millions of U.S. troops through United Service Organizations (USO), making 57 tours for the USO between 1941 and 1991. Two weeks ago, Aka`ula school put on its third annual USO-tribute show, with a full cast of characters performed entirely by Aka`ula students. Below, reprinted with permission from Aka`ula’s newsletter, are what students had to say about the experience.

USO Dress Rehearsal

By Dillon DeCoite, 8th Grade

Even though it was a dress rehearsal, I think we did great.  The audience was mostly our parents and family members, and they sold food and drinks on the side. …

End of Isolation at Kalaupapa Commemoration

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

Hui Malama Makanalua News Release

This year, June 30 marks the 45th anniversary of the end of the isolation of Hansen’s disease (leprosy) patients at the Makanalua peninsula, commonly known as Kalaupapa. To observe this anniversary and honor those who were subject to the policy, local nonprofit Hui Malama Makanalua will be placing lei made from natural materials at every known burial site on the peninsula. This project, named Lei Hali`a O Kalaupapa(lei in remembrance of Kalaupapa), will be completed with the assistance of Kalaupapa National Park personnel.

From 1866 to 1969, nearly 8,000 individuals with Hansen’s disease were sent to live in “quarantine” on the peninsula.…

Veterans Corner

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

Community Contributed

By Jesse Church

Aloha my fellow veterans and residents of Molokai, old Jesse here with all the veterans news and upcoming events. Wear a class ring? If you’re a graduate of the Air Force Academy, the first class ring was in 1959 for its first graduating class. That class lay the groundwork for a side of the ring depicting not only the class number and year, but also the Polaris star and the eagle, a stable for each future ring. Why? Polaris, the North Star, signifies hope, light and direction, and has been adapted as the symbol for the Academy’s core values to provide guidance and destination.…

Protecting the Irreplaceable

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Hawaii has a rich history, which means the state has a wide range of historic places that should be preserved, conserved and protected. Molokai is leading the way in historic preservation, according to Kiersten Faulkner, executive director of nonprofit Historic Hawaii Foundation (HHF).

“Molokai has set the standard and set the bar high on preserving active cultural sites, such as the fishponds restoration,” said  Faulkner, who came to Molokai May 17 to hold a seminar on historic preservation. “Molokai has been fierce advocates for a sense of place. The rest of the state is way behind Molokai.”

About 15 Molokai residents and HHF representatives met at Kulana `Oiwi to discuss the importance of preserving historic resources on Molokai.…

Veterans Corner

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

Community Contributed

By Jesse Church

Aloha my beloved veterans and fellow residents of Molokai, old Jesse here with all the veterans news and upcoming events. When you go to the doctor, you’re always hoping for a clean bill of health. But why do we use that expression? The term has its roots in the Navy. A bill of health is a document a ship provides to port cities, according to Naval history and heritage command. It is proof that sailors are not suffering any epidemic or infection. The document is often unnecessary when travelling between domestic ports, according to the manual for the Medical Department of the U.S.…

Dancing with the Winds: Ka Hula Piko 2014

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

Dancing with the Winds: Ka Hula Piko 2014

Ancient Hawaiians used winds to recognize and heed messages of warning, blessings and things to come. The 23rd annual Ka Hula Piko festival brought the Molokai community, along with visitors from around the world, together to celebrate hula traditions and how Hawaiians today are connected to kupuna of the past through the elements.

“The wind and the elements are so important in our lives and our ancestors made connections to them…that taught us to mind the protocol and be aware of these elements when they are in action,” said Elsie Ryder, ho`opa`a, or chanter, of Halau Hula O Kukunaokala. “Our ancestors and Ke Akua communicate with us through the elements.”

This year’s theme for the event was “Ku I Ke Kiu,” honoring the northwestern Kiu wind, or scout wind, that welcomed travelers to Pu`u Nana, the birthplace of hula, in the ancient days.…

Honoring Hawaii’s First Homestead

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Honoring Hawaii’s First Homestead

Beginning in 1921, a selected group of hardy Hawaiian families began building a life in Kalama`ula. They cleared kiawe, constructed homes and infrastructure, planted gardens and raised livestock. It was difficult work, but because of their success, more than 6,000 Hawaiian Homesteaders now live around the state, according to OHA Chairperson Colette Machado.

“They had to make do and… they overcame that and succeeded,” said Machado. “If it wasn’t for the Kalama`ula demonstration, [Native Hawaiians] wouldn’t be where we are today.”

Last week, the descendants of Hawaii’s first 42 homesteaders in Kalama`ula gathered to celebrate 90 years since the establishment of the Kalaniana`ole Settlement, as it was known.…