History

Stories about Molokai’s rich cultural history.

Konane

Friday, March 14th, 2014

Konane

A Game Played, Value Won

“It’s your move!” said Hiwa Ritte, urging her opponent, Ko`i Davis, who was carefully peering over a finely-made koa konane board. “I’m thinking!”  Ko`i said, scratching her head, pondering which `ili `ele `ele, or black piece, to move in rows of alternating white and black stones.

Described as a test of strategy and intellect, the ancient Hawaiian game of konane, played by ali`i and commoners alike, was considered a favorite pastime to socialize and to even settle disputes, according to Kauai cultural practitioner Sean Chun. Resembling the rules of checkers, it was said a konane tournament could last days and was a regular feature in every household.…

A Legacy of Language

Sunday, March 2nd, 2014

A Legacy of Language

As a child, Kilia Purdy-Avelino remembers often listening to her grandfather carrying on effortless conversation with uncles and friends in `Olelo Hawaii, or the Hawaiian language. He was a manaleo, or grew up with Hawaiian as his first language, she said, and although he never passed down the gift to his family, it was always part of her life.

“He was my inspiration to get into Hawaiian language at all,” said Purdy-Avelino. “I made it my goal in life to learn the language and to be able to converse with him.”

However, only two years into her `olelo studies, her grandfather passed away, and in the course of earning her Masters degree in indigenous and culture education at University of Hawaii-Hilo, her goals included a larger mission.…

Historic Preservation Basics Seminar

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Historic Hawaii Foundation News Release

Historic Hawaii Foundation, in partnership with the Hawaii State Historic Preservation Division, will offer a community seminar on Historic Preservation Basics on Kauai, Lanai, Molokai and Maui between March and June of 2014.

The Molokai event is on Saturday, May 17 at the Kulana `Oiwi Halau from 9 a.m. to noon.

The seminar will provide an overview of preservation essentials in the context of each island community. The three-hour class will include topics such as what is historic preservation and why does it matter, standards and framework: how does this all work, and historic preservation and the local community.…

Black History Month 2014

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Community Contributed

By Yoellah Yuhudah

Molokai Library presents a series of discussions, Wednesdays from noon to  1 p.m. celebrating Black History Month in February.

What: Be part of a cultural presentation uplifting African Americans who made an economic, social, political and spiritual impact on America. Covering the historical and contemporary interaction between the Caucasian race and the Afrian race from 1500 to present, highlighting the presence of African Americans in Hawaii since 1700 to present. There will be free trivia prizes.

Where: Molokai Library, 10 Ala Malama Street

When:

Feb. 5 – Susan Macuse: Discussing the knowledge of African Americans from a Jewish perspective.…

Landfill Closed After Ordnance Discovery

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

Landfill Closed After Ordnance Discovery

The Molokai Landfill closed temporarily last week after workers discovered a potentially unexploded ordnance there on Monday.

“The ordinance was found during the sorting and separating of an older waste pile that consisted mostly of construction…waste with green waste mixed in it,” said Rod Antone, Maui County communications director.

The ordnance was from the 1940s, when military aircraft dropped practice bombs on some areas of Molokai for training, according to U.S. Army’s Staff Sergeant Corbin Heard with the 74th Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) unit at Schofield Barracks.

After the ordnance was found, the Molokai Police Department contacted Heard’s unit to investigate the bomb.…

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.…

Hospital Celebrates 50 Years

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Hospital Celebrates 50 Years

A lot has changed in medical services on Molokai since the mid-1900s — a time when it wasn’t unusual to go into the hospital to get your tonsils out and your doctor would have just come from delivering a baby. Hours before that, he would have removed your neighbor’s appendix.

“People used to think, ‘He’s a doctor, he’s supposed to do it all,’” Dr. Paul Stevens, the island’s oldest physician, said in a 2010 interview. Stevens first came to Molokai in 1956, and has practiced medicine here ever since.

Last Saturday, Molokai General Hospital celebrated its 50th anniversary — as well as remembered all the changes in Molokai healthcare over the years.…

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.…

Veterans Day

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Veterans Day

Molokai veterans held their heads and flags high as their marched through town on Veterans Day last Monday. Concluding their steps at the Veterans Memorial, the group honored each other and all those who have served and sacrificed for their country.

Originally called Armistice Day, President Wilson declared Nov. 11, 1919 — one year after the cessation of hostilities of World War I — as a day to commemorate the “war to end all wars” and honor its veterans, according to Molokai Veterans Caring for Veterans Commander David Hafermann. Now, Veterans Day is the day the county recognizes all living veterans who have served in all wars.…