History

Stories about Molokai’s rich cultural history.

Protecting a Cultural Legacy

Sunday, August 4th, 2013

Protecting a Cultural Legacy

When today’s kupuna were growing up, they remember being told that the Kapuaiwa Coconut Grove was a sacred place. It was kapu, or forbidden, and their kupuna told them not to play in the grove or freshwater springs that open up in the ground beneath the towering trees. But today, those kupuna are concerned because they often see trucks driven into the grove, children swimming in the pools, tourists oblivious to the dangers of falling coconuts and rubbish littering the springs and grove.

“We were all taught by our parents and our grandparents that we are not to go in there and play [in the grove],” said Kanani Negrillo of Kalamaula.…

Seed Savings – Part II

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

Community Contributed

By Glenn I. Teves, UH County Extension Agent

Many seed varieties developed in Hawaii and passed down through generations are difficult to find today, such as Lualualei pole beans, and Kulanui and Kauwela lettuce. These varieties were stress-tested and adapted to our specific climatic challenges. Saving and sharing seed helps to preserve these special varieties not only for the next season, but also for generations to come.

Some seeds, such as beans and inbred corn, are among the easiest to save. Allow them to dry on the plant, and remove them from the pod or husk and screen out misshapen or damaged seed.…

Brother Dutton Statue Gifted to Molokai

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

Molokai is already home to two saints — Damien and Marianne — and if efforts continue, the island might be known for a third: Brother Joseph Dutton. Dutton worked alongside St. Damien and Marianne to serve Hansen’s disease patients in Kalaupapa, but he is just as known for his rocky past before becoming a Catholic. Thanks to Oahu benefactor John Perreira and a few local residents, including the late Larry Helm, a statue of Dutton will soon arrive on Molokai to help tell the story of a transformation from soldier to would-be saint.

A Relatable Life
Dutton served in the Northern Army during the Civil War and climbed the ranks for his loyal service.…

Sharing the Hokulea

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

Sharing the Hokulea

Last week, nearly 500 Molokai residents, students and visitors got the chance to step foot on the Hokulea — a replica of the traditional Hawaiian double-hulled sailing canoe — docked at the Kaunakakai Wharf. The vessel is touring Hawaii before embarking on a three-year Worldwide Voyage that will span three years, 46,000 miles, 21 countries and at least 65 landfalls.

More than 20 crew members — some of whom are from Molokai — sailed the Hokulea from Lanai on Monday, July 8. During the Worldwide Voyage, an average crew of 12 to 15 will navigate the canoe on its journey as ambassadors of the aloha spirit and spreading a message of care for the environment.…

Kalaupapa Bar Celebrates 10 Years

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

Kalaupapa Bar Celebrates 10 Years

Last weekend, a street in Kalaupapa was closed for the second block party in the settlement’s history. A decade ago, Kalaupapa patient resident Gloria Marks bought the settlement’s only bar, and last Friday, the 100-resident community came out to celebrate the business’ 10th anniversary. It was Marks who also hosted the settlement’s first block party for the bar’s firth anniversary in 2008.

“Ten years is good but I have to make it another 10!” said Marks, Kalaupapa’s only business owner. Marks also runs Damien Tours, which is nearing its 50th anniversary.

Called Fuesaina’s Bar, Marks’ business stocks more than 10 varieties of beer, and some wine as well.…

Kalaupapa Barge Day

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

Kalaupapa Barge Day

The remote Kalaupapa settlement is normally the epitome of peace. But once a year, its wharf becomes as busy as a New York City intersection. It’s barge day — a big occasion for the tiny community that’s taken place annually for decades. It’s when a year’s worth of equipment, gasoline, non-perishable food supplies and personal orders is delivered to the settlement. It’s been described as Christmas in July.

There’s only barge in the state small enough to fit into Kalaupapa’s narrow harbor — and only a short window of time in the summer when the rough water is calm enough for the barge to safely dock.…

Remembering Larry Helm

Friday, July 12th, 2013

Remembering Larry Helm

A Molokai icon has passed away, leaving memories of a leader, veteran advocate and entertainer who was as passionate as he was humorous. Larry Helm died peacefully on June 19 at the age of 70, surrounded by his family, after a battle with liver cancer.

“Throughout his career, Larry has been a positive influence in the Molokai community, and over the years, much of the progress on Molokai has had Larry’s fingerprints on it,” said Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa.

Helm is perhaps best known as commander of the Molokai Veterans Caring for Veterans and leading the nearly decade-long battle to build a veterans’ center on the island.…

Hokulea to Visit Molokai This Week

Sunday, July 7th, 2013

Hokulea to Visit Molokai This Week

A vessel representing thousands of years of Hawaiian culture and history will soon dock on Molokai. The Hokulea, a replica of a traditional Hawaiian wa`a kaulua, or double-hulled voyaging canoe, was completed in 1975 and set sail on its first voyage to Tahiti a year later. The vessel has come to represent a cultural awakening of Native Hawaiian seafaring as well a message of aloha aina (love of the land) and the importance of caring for each other and our resources.

“I sailed in 1976 but my real voyage began after that — to apply the lessons we learned to better myself and my community, and to be a better steward,” said Penny Martin, Molokai resident and one of Hokulea’s original crew members.…

Island Legend: Paniolo Jimmy Duvauchelle

Friday, June 7th, 2013

Island Legend: Paniolo Jimmy Duvauchelle

Fourth generation Molokai paniolo Uncle Jimmy Duvauchelle literally entered this world into the hands of a cowboy. When he was born in Kalamaula in the 1940s, there were only two doctors on the island — and when his mother went into labor, one doctor was in Honolulu and the other was busy, said Duvauchelle.

“My dad didn’t know what to do and panicked,” he chuckled. So he ran down the road and called for help from the only person who was experienced in delivery — an old time cowboy.

Back then, paniolo would be there with their cattle “whether it’s 3 in the morning or 3 in the afternoon,” said Duvauchelle.…

Veterans Center: Fight to Finish

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

Veterans Center: Fight to Finish

 

Seven years after Molokai veterans began the process to construct a center to call their own, the building is finally nearing completion. The group was granted a County of Maui building permit in May 2011 after years of permitting delays, lawsuits, protests and jumping through bureaucratic hoops. With the permit finally in hand, frustration turned to relief — but little did veterans know that two years later, the building still would not be complete.

“Many veterans will not have the chance to be able to see the Veteran Center,” said Molokai Veterans Caring for Veterans Commander Larry Helm, who has spearheaded the effort to build the new center.…