Hawaiian Culture

Hawaiian culture stories from Molokai

Experiencing Kalaupapa

Friday, August 26th, 2016

Community Contributed

By Aka`ula Students

Editor’s note: A group of Aka`ula School students recently had the opportunity to spend time in Kalaupapa, and shared their experiences in the school’s newsletter, reprinted with permission here.

Kalaupapa
By Dillon DeCoite, Junior

The scenery at Kalaupapa is breathtaking. Kalaupapa is a small peninsula on the north shore of Molokai. The peninsula has, what I believe is, the most beautiful scenery anywhere. During summer vacation, I had the opportunity to go to Kalaupapa and stay for five days. I did many things while at Kalaupapa, but overall jumping off the pier was my favorite part.…

Culture of Canoe Racing

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

Culture of Canoe Racing

Molokai’s Koa Canoe blessing in 2009. Photo by Ed Misaki

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

Since ancient times, outrigger canoe racing has held an important place in Hawaiian cultural traditions.
According to Tommy Holmes in “The Hawaiian Canoe,” excelling in canoe races was of great importance historically, and special status and recognition was given to champions in the sport. Today, the tradition is carried on each summer as paddlers from around the state compete to represent their islands at the Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association state race.

Historically, canoes were carved from a log of the endemic koa tree, but now, canoes are often made from fiberglass or other manmade materials.…

Ka Molokai Makahiki 2016

Thursday, February 4th, 2016

Ka Molokai Makahiki 2016

Photo by Rick Schonely.

Each year, youth and adults from all over Hawaii gather to celebrate Ka Molokai Makahiki in a place where cultural traditions remain strong and friendly athletic competition is celebrated. During Makahiki, the ancient Hawaiian four-month season of peace, war was kapu, or forbidden, and every district gathered to appreciate the harvest and challenge each other’s athletic prowess.The historic tradition has been revived for more than 30 years on Molokai.

Cultural events began Thursday, with an evening lecture about Kaho`olawe, where the Makahiki season begins each year. Adult games kicked off Friday night, and student competitions followed on Saturday, with a ho`olaulea afterward.…

Hawaiian Election Halted, Convention Scheduled

Monday, December 21st, 2015

Following a U.S. Supreme Court order that prohibited the counting of votes in a contested Native Hawaiian election, Na`i Aupuni – the nonprofit running the election – has announced it has terminated the election process. Rather than registered voters picking 40 delegates for a convention, or `Aha, that will be held in February, Na`i Aupuni officials have said all 196 candidates will be offered a seat at the `Aha.

In late November, a Supreme Court justice issued a temporary hold on ballot counting in response to a legal challenge filed by a group that claimed it is unconstitutional to hold a racially exclusive election.…

Hawaiian Election Continues Amid Concerns

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

A Native Hawaiian election due to close Nov. 30 is heating up as kanaka ma`oli debate the direction of self-determination and the future of over half a million Hawaiians nationwide.

Starting Nov. 1 for 30 days, nearly 90,000 Hawaiians registered with the Kana`iolowalu Native Hawaiian Roll Commission can cast their ballot for candidates in their district who would represent them at an upcoming constitutional convention of 40 delegates. The Molokai ballot has three candidates who are among more than 200 candidates statewide: Noa Emmett Aluli, Lori Buchanan and Walter Ritte. One of them will represent both Molokai and Lanai at the convention, to be held between February and April of 2016.…

Tutu’s Corner: Ho`omaika`i (Gratitude)

Friday, November 20th, 2015

Tutu and Me News Release

The Hawaiian value ho`omaika`i, is to have a spirit of gratitude and thankfulness. Gratitude is a learned behavior, and we can teach keiki about ho`omaika`i by our good examples and the examples of others around them. Developing an attitude of gratitude can take patience and practice. Help keiki to notice the many things around us that we can be thankful for: family and friends, a healthy body, a place to live, food for our table, the beautiful sky and ocean, and so much more. Talk about thankfulness and why it’s important. Children who learn gratitude become more sensitive to the feelings of others and develop empathy and other life skills as they grow.…

Elections for Hawaiian Convention Underway

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015

A historic and contested election is taking place this month for Natives Hawaiians that could help determine the direction of self-determination. Starting Nov. 1 for 30 days, about 100,000 Hawaiians registered with the Kana`iolowalu Native Hawaiian Roll Commission can cast their ballot for candidates in their district who would represent them at an upcoming constitutional convention of 40 delegates.

The Molokai ballot has three candidates who are among more than 200 candidates statewide. One of them will represent both Molokai and Lanai at the convention, to be held between February and April of 2016. According to the Roll Commission, just under 3,000 Molokai residents are registered.…

‘Sons of Halawa’ World Premiere

Friday, November 13th, 2015

‘Sons of Halawa’ World Premiere

Quazifilms News Release

Photo courtesy of Quazifilms.

On Monday, Nov. 16 in Honolulu, “Sons of Halawa,” a locally produced 60-minute documentary, will have its World Premiere at the Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF). The Molokai Premiere is scheduled for Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. under the tent at Hotel Molokai.

The story takes place in Molokai’s Halawa Valley and revolves around the life of Pilipo Solatorio. Now in his 70s, Pilipo is the last of his generation living in the isolated valley. The film follows him for two years as he searches for a successor to replace him as the carrier of Halawa’s cultural practices.…

$88K for Cultural and Environmental Education

Friday, November 13th, 2015

$88K for Cultural and Environmental Education

MMS News Release

Photo courtesy of MMS.

Molokai Middle School, `O Hina I Ka Malama, Ke Kula Waena, Hawaiian Language Immersion Program received a $88,213 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for a project titled “Promoting Cultural Based Knowledge and Practices through Environmental Stewardship and Preservation.” The grant’s duration, August 2015 through August 2016, is being lead by Molokai Middle School Hawaiian Language Immersion Program Teacher and Principal Investigator, `Iolani Ku`oha.

“Our goal, through meaningful science-based outdoor experiences for students, is to instill the need for engaging in culture based knowledge that reflects community efforts on Molokai,” said Ku`oha.…

Homesteaders Remember their Roots

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

Homesteaders Remember their Roots

Community members viewed the names of the original homesteading families on display at the celebration. Photo by Colleen Uechi.

When homesteaders first took up residence on Molokai lands, they had to start from the ground up. Families worked hard together to put in roads and set up large wooden tanks to catch the rainwater for drinking and farming. They combined labor and resources to sow crops and purchase farming equipment.

Ninety years later, Ho`olehua’s fertile lands are inhabited by their thriving descendants, who own homes, grow crops and use the infrastructure put in place by their ancestors.

Last week, the Ho`olehua Homestead Association remembered its history at the homestead’s 90th anniversary celebration.…