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.…
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.…
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.…
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.…
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.…
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.…
By Lori-Lei Rawlins-Crivello
The Kulaia festival two weeks ago revived a historic tradition of aloha surrounding the annual canoe races during which paddlers and community would gather together. Pictured here, Hawaiian immersion students participated in the celebration that closed Kaunakakai’s main street for the festivities. This coming weekend, the spirit of Kulaia will be carried forward during the Festivals of Aloha events and Sunday’s Molokai Hoe canoe race. Photo courtesy of Lori-Lei Rawlins-Crivello
Historical records dating back to 1865 note Hawaiian outrigger canoe race competitions as one of the many events our kupuna took part in during annual la kulaia, days of festivities honoring the Kingdom of Hawaii and especially honoring our beloved monarchy. …
I Ola Kanaloa News Release
I Ola Kanaloa! Life to Kanaloa! Community gatherings are being organized throughout the islands to premier a new film about the island of Kanaloa Kaho’olawe and launch discussions about the Draft 2026 Strategic Plan for Kanaloa called “I Ola Kanaloa!”
The 30-minute film about the island of Kanaloa Kaho’olawe is part of and eight part series called Standing On Sacred Ground by filmmaker Toby McLeod. The overall series tells eight distinct stories from the viewpoints of diverse indigenous communities — stories that evoke ancient and contemporary spiritual connections to earth, while exploring how the health of our global environment can be sustained through respectful understanding of the sacred lands and traditions of these native peoples.…
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.…
Photo by Laura Pilz.
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.…