Culture & Art

Kalaupapa Pavilion Gets a Facelift

Thursday, January 17th, 2019

Kalaupapa Pavilion Gets a Facelift


For 53 years, a small building has stood at the edge of the ocean in Kalaupapa, holding many special occasions and happy memories for residents. The Ocean View Pavilion, built in 1965 by members of the Kalaupapa Lions Club, recently underwent long-awaited renovations and was reopened in a dedication ceremony on Dec. 19.

“After years of sea spray, rain and trade winds, the building needed repairs, specifically a new roof, some structural beams and a painting,” stated a Kalaupapa Lions news release last year. “ [It] stands as a testimony to the strength and fortitude of the residents of this tiny settlement.”

The Kalaupapa Lions Club raised funds to purchase materials and shipped them to the remote settlement on the annual barge last summer.…

Schonely Releases CD

Friday, November 9th, 2018

Schonely Releases CD

Molokai musician Rick Schonely has recorded his first CD and recently went live on radio and performed a couple shows in Honolulu. Schonely, who retired with the Maui Fire Department, teaches at Molokai High, gives tours in Kalaupapa for the Molokai Mule Ride, is the sports reporter at The Molokai Dispatch, and plays music with several local bands.

“Music is life for many of us and we especially enjoy the local Hawaiian music,” he said. “And even more so the music of Molokai is special. Local Hawaiian music reminds us of our ‘ohana and our island and our kuleana to take care of the land the water and most importantly, each other.”

A musician all his adult life, Schonely said he got in the studio for the first time to record with Kapena Delima.…

Molokai Art in Juried Exhibit

Thursday, October 18th, 2018

Community Contributed

By Paula Scott, Hawaii Craftsmen Board of Directors, Molokai Representative

The Hawaii Craftsmen 2018 Annual Statewide Juried Exhibition is proud to announce its 51st installation, which will be held at the Honolulu Museum of Art School, Main Gallery. The exhibition is free to the public, and opens for viewing from Oct. 25 through Nov. 11. Our juror this year will be Isabella Ellaheh Hughes, Co-Founder and Director of the Honolulu Biennial Foundation.

On behalf of the Hawaii Craftsmen Association, congratulations goes out to Molokai artists Dan Bennett, Terry Klerlein, Kim Markham and Paula Scott, whose submitted works was juried into the 2018 Annual Statewide Juried Exhibition.…

Recalling Kulaia History

Sunday, September 9th, 2018

Molokai Canoe Festivals Committee News Release

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.  During that era, kulaia generally occurred once a year during a national holiday or birthday celebration of a mo’i (monarch). 

After the overthrow of our beloved Hawaiian Kingdom, kulaia festivities changed focus and no longer celebrated the Kingdom and monarchy.  In historical records, we see the shift from national celebration to simply canoe race competitions.  Therefore, pieces of our historic kulaia were lost and forgotten.…

Tapping Into Tradition

Wednesday, September 5th, 2018

Tapping Into Tradition

The rhythm of tapping, like a heartbeat, filled Kulana ‘Oiwi Halau last Tuesday night. It was the sound of a traditional tattoo, or uhi, coming to life — in what might have been the first time on Molokai in more than a century.

Residents gathered around in the dim evening light to watch as cultural practitioner Keli’i Makua brought forth a new uhi before their eyes. Makua studied under renowned Hawaiian tatau artist Keone Nunes, who revived the practice in Hawaii as it was on the verge of extinction. In 2016, Makua went through a historic ceremony in which he became a Kahuna Ka Uhi, or priest of tattooing — the first to receive this honor in Hawaii in more than 200 years.…

Two More Monk Seals Dead

Wednesday, August 1st, 2018


The deaths of two young male Hawaiian monk seals on Molokai in June are being investigated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This comes after a young female was killed at Mo’omomi in May, with injuries showing human-inflicted trauma as the cause of her death. 

An unidentified juvenile male was found dead at  Paka’a beach on Molokai’s west end on June 25. The other young male, identified as RJ26, was born at Kalaupapa last year and found dead on June 18 on the east end near mile marker 22. NOAA’s Jolene Lau said no other details could be released at this time, pending the investigation.…

Youth Symphony Comes to Molokai

Wednesday, June 20th, 2018

Hawaii Youth Symphony News Release

The classrooms of Kaunakakai Elementary School on Molokai will be filled with the joy of music during the Hawaii Youth Symphony’s string workshop held at the school on Saturday, June 23 through Sunday, June 24. 

“The Hawaii Youth Symphony is thrilled to share more of the opportunities and wonder that music education has to offer with students on Molokai,” said Randy Wong, president of the Hawaii Youth Symphony. “Music is a right, not a privilege, and we look forward to inspiring these enthusiastic young students to further develop their skills and have fun while learning.” 

In partnership with Kaunakakai Elementary School teacher and bassist Bob Underwood, the Hawaii Youth Symphony will teach Molokai students the fundamental techniques of string instruments, general musicianship skills and the opportunity to rehearse as an orchestra. 

As part of the workshop, Molokai students will receive instruction and private lessons from some of the Hawaii Youth Symphony’s distinguished coaches, including Dr.…

Finding Unity in Hula

Wednesday, June 6th, 2018

Finding Unity in Hula


Honoring a tradition thousands of years old, the 27th annual Ka Hula Piko celebrated the birthplace of hula at Ka’ana on Molokai and carrying forward hula’s value into modern times. Halau and music groups from around the state came together last Saturday at Kualapu`u Community Center to honor dance, language and culture with locals and visitors alike.

The three-day event included a guided cultural excursion to Ka’ana in Maunaloa where hula began, and a Talk Story session with kumu hula, culminating in Saturday’s Ho’olaulea.

Ka Hula Piko was founded by the late Kumu Hula John Ka`imikaua and Halau Hula O Kukunaokala, which is now led by Kumu Hula Elsie Ryder.…

Kamehameha Schools Funds Aka`ula Scholarships

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018

Kamehameha Schools Funds Aka`ula Scholarships


A new agreement between Kamehameha Schools (KS) and Molokai’s Aka`ula School will allow more children to attend Aka`ula through financial assistance provided by KS. The agreement was signed last week and the scholarship, called Ho`okahi Ka `Ilau (“wield the paddles together”), will offer tuition assistance and other support for Molokai students demonstrating financial need to attend the small, independent school for students in grades five through 12.

“Today is going to be a game changer for our school,” said Dara Lukonen, Aka`ula School principal, in a KS press release last week. “This partnership with Kamehameha Schools is going to allow us to offer opportunities to students we have not been able to reach yet.”

Akaʻula School was founded 13 years ago, originally as a middle school, then expanded to include high school education in 2012.…

Eviction Notice Threatens Mule Ride

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018

Eviction Notice Threatens Mule Ride

Almost two years of legal disputes between the Sproat family — owners of Kalaupapa Rare Adventures mule ride — and landowner R.W. Meyer, Ltd. have come to a head with an eviction notice for the mule operators. Both parties are now claiming ownership to the Kalae property where the mule barn has stood for more than 40 years.

Paul Meyer, President of R.W. Meyer, Ltd., said Kalauapa Rare Adventures’ lease ended in January 2017 and since then, the company has not paid rent and refused to negotiate a new lease. The Sproats say they have a title to the land so they don’t need to pay rent.…