Photo by Annie Kiyonaga.
The scene could easily be transpiring in Japan: dancers swaying rhythmically under a sea of twinkling paper lanterns, surrounded by an array of Japanese delicacies, their movements narrated by Buddhist chants. Yet this is no ordinary Japanese festival – this is Molokai’s annual Bon Festival, held two weeks ago on the lawn of the Molokai Guzeiji Soto Mission Buddhist Temple. Although the scene itself was enchanting and lighthearted, the significance of the celebration was serious: a commemoration of the spirits of loved ones who have passed.
While the Bon Festival is traditionally a time to be reunited with the spirits of the deceased, organizers say the event is also an opportunity to appreciate life and honor Japanese culture and heritage on Molokai. …
While this week, Molokai celebrates food in the Dispatch “Taste of Molokai” issue, last week, food from Hawaii was celebrated in Washington D.C.’s Capitol Hill – and Molokai was represented. Pacific Hawaii, a gourmet sea salt company on Molokai founded by Salt Master Nancy Gove, was invited to the first-ever event.
Called “Hawaii on the Hill,” the special Taste of Hawaii event highlighting Hawaii-made or grown products in the nation’s capital was the first of its kind this year. Washington, D.C. often hosts states to highlight their products, and on July 23, Hawaii was showcased for the first time. An invitation-only open house for Congressional members of friends of the State of Hawaii, the event was attended by over 500 VIPs.…
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.…
The Molokai residents who visited the shaded grounds by Keawanui Fishpond last weekend likely left more relaxed than they arrived. That’s because 15 licensed lomi lomi massage therapists and apprentices performed more than 125 hours of Hawaiian massage treatments free of charge to about 100 community members Friday and Saturday.
Under the breezy shade of blooming tress and the soothing sound of buzzing bees, dozens of Molokai community members were treated to 50-minute treatments. The healing massage therapy was made possible by Ho`omana Spa Maui, which facilitated the visit of the therapists.
“We’re all here to aloha everyone and part of the lomi lifestyle is about giving back,” said Jeana Iwalani Naluai, spa owner and international instructor of lomi lomi massage.…
Photo by Patricia Hammond.
Two weeks ago, more than half a dozen families gathered at Mo`omomi for four days of camping, pono fishing, generational learning and most of all, inspiring `ohana to malama `aina.
In its second year held on Molokai’s north shore coastline, `Ohana Lawai`a camp offered an opportunity for family learning of traditional fishing practices and protocol, along with lessons in history, culture and biology. Under the guidance of traditional resource manager and educator Mac Poepoe and other kupuna, the experience offered a unique learning experience for young and old. To participate, families were asked to bring at least two generations of attendees.…
By Diane Abraham
Music is part of the human experience, from a mother’s lullaby to a newborn, to a heavenly anthem, to a rock concert. We are all touched by music in one way or another, and often in multiple ways, especially here in Hawaii where music is a valued tradition. On July 19, the people of Molokai are going to be treated to a very special outdoor concert, free of charge.
In its fifth year, the Summer Praise Concert is being put on by churches here on island. This concert is at the Kaunakakai ball field from 6 to 10 p.m.…
A standing-room-only crowd gathered at Kulana Oiwi on Wednesday evening, as Trustees from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) gathered concerns and highlighted efforts to improve conditions within Hawaiian communities.
During the meeting, the Board of Trustees heard testimony relating to community concerns, beneficiary achievements, Hawaiian Home Lands and issues relating to federal recognition of Native Hawaiians.
In response to requests from the Native Hawaiian community, the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) announced last week that it is moving forward on a rule-making process for re-establishing a government-to-government relationship with Native Hawaiians.
“The vision of the OHA is to rebuild and establish a beloved Native Hawaiian nation that is recognized nationally and internationally,” said OHA CEO Kamana`opono Crabbe.…
Photo by Catherine Cluett.
If you visited Ali`i Fishpond last week, you would have found a group of students twisting ti leaf lei using their toes as anchors, speaking to each other quietly in `Olelo Hawaii under the branches of a hala tree. Meanwhile, another group of students learned lomi massage techniques, while seated beneath the shade of the hale overlooking the fishpond, giving each other treatments.
This was the third annual Kula Kaiapuni Kauwela summer school, a Hawaiian immersion program for one month in June and July. This year, for the first time, students spent one week at Ali`i Fishpond as part of the program.…
Todd Ragsdale, a boat builder, musician and fervent collector, wanted to try something different after retirement.
Six months ago, he fused his passion for music and fondness for collecting ukuleles into a business to share both his hobbies with Molokai. Thus was born Molokai Music Maker, where he sells handmade and vintage ukuleles from Hawaii, the mainland, Indonesia and beyond.
“It’s like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich,” said Ragsdale, a Honolulu native, while plucking one of his many ukuleles, improvising a melody at Hotel Molokai’s weekly Friday market. “You can’t have the peanut butter without the jelly. You come to Hawaii, you should have a ukulele.”
Ragsdale began collecting a decade ago, and has continued his quest while starting his business.…