Stories about Molokai’s rich cultural history.

Hawaiian Airlines Welcomed Back

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Hawaiian Airlines Welcomed Back

As `Ohana by Hawaiian made its inaugural flight to Molokai, Aunty Kauila Reyes was honored by designer Sig Zane as the inspiration for the plane’s kapa patterns. Photo by Catherine Cluett.

As Hawaiian Airlines officially launched its new service, `Ohana by Hawaiian, to Molokai last week, hundreds of residents and officials celebrated an occasion that for many, felt like a homecoming for the company.

“Molokai has been part of our ohana for the last 85 years,” said Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian Airlines (HA) president and CEO. “For the last 10 years, we have not been able to operate here, but every single one of those days in between we’ve been working on plans to bring this wonderful day to fruition.…

Lessons in a Whale’s Belly

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Lessons in a Whale’s Belly

Captain Mark leads an imaginative journey around the island to a group of first and fourth graders. Photo by Jessica Ahles

Keiki had a whale of a time learning about humpback whales and their place in the environment Friday. But while most have only seen the great creatures from a distance, students at Kilohana School got up close and personal, climbing into the belly of a 36-foot inflatable humpback, softly rocking to soothing whale sounds and taking an imaginative ride around island’s waters.

“My name is Captain Mark and I’ll be your tour guide today,” Storybook Theater Executive Director Mark Jeffers said as he saluted to Kilohana School’s second grade class.…


Friday, March 14th, 2014


A Game Played, Value Won

Konane, similar to the game of checkers, is a traditional, strategic Hawaiian board game some say could last days. Photo by Jessica Ahles

“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.…

A Legacy of Language

Sunday, March 2nd, 2014

A Legacy of Language

Napua Bicoy, age 9, recites a memorized verse in `Olelo Hawaii. Photos by Jessica Ahles

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


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

Photo of the ordnance discovered at the landfill, after detonation. Photo contributed anonymously.

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

1946 Real Photo postcard featuring the Kaunakakai banyan tree at the Seaside Inn. Photo courtesy of Arleone Dibben-Young

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.…

Hospital Celebrates 50 Years

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Hospital Celebrates 50 Years

Dr. Paul Stevens was congratulated at the Molokai General Hospital 50th Anniversary after the surprise announcement that the outpatient clinic is renamed in his honor. Beside him is his wife, Marion. Photo by Catherine Cluett

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.…

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.

Dr. Marshall Weisler led a group tour of the archeological sites of Mokio Preserve.…