Hawaiian Culture

Hawaiian culture stories from Molokai

‘Kumu Hina’ Film Looks at Tradition in Modern Hawaii

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

Alu Like Native Hawaiian Library Molokai News Release

It’s been a long-time coming, but two films that bring Hawaiian culture to life in powerful new ways are finally going to screen on Molokai.

“Kumu Hina” is a film produced by Pacific Islanders in Communications about the struggle to maintain traditional culture and values within the Westernized society of modern Hawaii.  The film’s entertaining stories are told through the perspective of Hina Wong-Kalu, a remarkable native Hawaiian mahu, or transgender, teacher who inspires a young girl to claim her place as leader of the school’s all-boy hula troupe as she searches for love and a fulfilling romantic relationship in her own life.…

Homestead Gardening Program

Friday, October 16th, 2015

Community Contributed

By Glenn I. Teves

The next round of the Hawaiian Homesteaders Gardening Program will start in late November. The purpose of this educational program is to increase homestead families access to fresh vegetables. Participants will be taught all aspects of establishing and managing a garden, and growing vegetables adapted to Molokai.

This program is open to all Hawaiian homesteaders residing on Molokai, and participation will be limited to 15 families. Classes will be held two to three times each month from 4:30 to 6 p.m., with occasional workshops. The choice of a Tuesday or Thursday meeting date will be determined by participants.…

Getting the Point in Kalaupapa

Friday, October 16th, 2015

Community Contributed

By Father Pat Killilea, St. Francis Church, Kalaupapa

The story goes that the great Chinese philosopher and teacher, Confucius, was teaching his class one day on his Silver Rule, “Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself.” Evidently the class was not responding to his message in the manner he had hoped for and desired, or perhaps just did not get it. So wishing to get some positive reaction, he raised his voice a decibel and said, “He or she who sits on tack gets the point.” Almost immediately one young student rose to his feet and said, “Yes, Master Confucius, and rises to the occasion.” For that he got a standing ovation.…

Alii’s Life Story Through Hula

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015

When Kumu Hula Micah Kamohoali`i and his halau started gathering stories about Kamehameha the Great, they simply wanted to save their Hawaii Island community’s history before it was lost.

Now, what began as a cultural revival has been channeled into a hula drama called “Hanau Ke Ali`i: Born is the Chief,” which combines hula, chant and Hawaiian martial arts to reenact lesser known details of Kamehameha’s life. After performing on six islands, Waimea-based Halau Na Kipu`upu`u is completing its tour on Molokai this Friday at the high school gym.

“It’s based on the life of Kamehameha as told by his descendants,” said Kamohoali`i.…

Celebrating a Queen’s Love of Kalo

Thursday, October 8th, 2015

Celebrating a Queen’s Love of Kalo

Young enthusiasts show off their harvest. All photos courtesy of Harmonee Williams.

At last month’s Taro Field Day, Molokai residents celebrated cultural and agricultural traditions, harvested their own kalo to grown in their backyards, and participated in a prestigious cooking contest honoring a queen’s commitment to taro.

The annual event offers community members a chance to learn about and be a part of efforts to preserve dozens of historic taro species, as well as taste test poi and kulolo made from varieties grown here on Molokai at the UH Maui Community College Farm in Ho`olehua. Attendees could also venture into the field after receiving a labelled map to select and harvest plants of their favorite varieties.…

Kulaia: One Community, One Wa`a

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Kulaia: One Community, One Wa`a

Photo by Catherine Cluett.

Last Friday on the closed main street of Kaunakakai town, children spoke Hawaiian fluidly. Community members pounded poi while shop owners told ancestral stories through their handmade crafts. Hawaiian culture was alive and well at Molokai’s second annual Kulaia, a celebration whose purpose was reconnecting with traditions of the past.

“I like the idea that it’s a historical event that we’re trying to revive in our own Molokai way,” said resident Pulama Lima. “… I think it brings our community together in a way that people look at us as this model of aloha and this model of why we still continue this life of subsistence.”

An event that once accompanied outrigger races and national holidays in mid-1800s Hawaii, Kulaia was planned to accompany this year’s Na Wahine O Ke Kai.…

Weather Cancels Women’s Channel Race

Sunday, September 27th, 2015

Weather Cancels Women’s Channel Race

For the first time in 35 years, the annual Na Wahine O Ke Kai women’s channel race between Molokai and Oahu was cancelled the evening before the race due to weather concerns. With a small craft advisory calling for swells up to 12 feet and a wind advisory predicting 35 mph winds with gusts up to 50 mph on Sunday, race officials made a difficult decision to call off the 41-mile crossing of the unpredictable Ka`iwi Channel. It will not be rescheduled this year.

“It is with heavy hearts that the Na Wahine O Ke Kai Committee announced the cancellation of the 2015 race,” announced the race’s Facebook page.  …

Hikianalia Honors Mel Paoa

Friday, September 25th, 2015

Hikianalia Honors Mel Paoa

Photo by Todd Yamashita.

The Hikianalia, sister voyaging canoe of the Hokule`a, and its crew docked on Molokai last Saturday to honor Molokai Hokule`a captain Uncle Mel Paoa, who passed away last month. Paoa’s memorial services was held on Sunday, attended by hundreds of residents, friends and members of the Polynesian Voyaging Society.

Connecting Culture and a Canoe Race

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

Connecting Culture and a Canoe Race

Hawaiian immersion students participating in last year’s Kulaia celebration. Photo courtesy of Lori-Lei Rawlins-Crivello.

Fifty years ago on the evenings before major outrigger canoe races, Molokai residents and paddling crews from Hawaii and around the world camped together on the shores of Hale o Lono Harbor. They shared tents, meals, music and conversation under the stars.

“It was really good for everybody to get together. No matter what club you were in, everybody had fun together,” said local fisherman Mervin Dudoit, who paddled in seven Molokai Hoe races during the 1960s. “… Now most guys don’t talk to the next team [before a race].”

As races got more competitive and a good night’s sleep more valuable, lodging separately in hotels or local homes became commonplace.…

Aloha on the High Seas

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

Aloha on the High SeasQ&A with Hokulea crewmember Kawika Crivello

Kawika Crivello on the sweep. Photo: Oiwi TV. Photographer: Maui Tauotaha.

A handful of Molokai residents have been honored to be invited as crew on the Hokulea, a double-hulled voyaging canoe whose first journey from Hawaii to Tahiti in 1976 successfully replicated ancient Polynesian travel using traditional navigation techniques. The late Mel Paoa and Penny Martin began a long tradition of Molokai crewmembers, among them Kawika Crivello. He was one four local watermen to complete legs of the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage, a 47,000-mile journey that will conclude in 2017. While not his first voyage, Crivello served as steersman on a leg across the dangerous Tasman Sea between New Zealand and Australia between April and June of this year.…