Hawaiian Culture

Hawaiian culture stories from Molokai

Makahiki March

Thursday, February 4th, 2021

Makahiki March

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

As with everything else over the last year, 2021 Ka Molokai Makahiki looked different. There were no traditional games played or roaring crowds to cheer on favorite competitors in hukihuki, kukini, uma or haka moa. Instead, a small group of dedicated and masked Hawaiians carried the banner of Lono on foot from one end of the island to the other, starting on Jan. 25.

“For the first time in 39 years, due to the pandemic, the Ka Molokai Makahiki Games were canceled… the Lono banner was carried for five days from east Molokai at Halawa to west Molokai at Hale o Lono in celebration of the closing of the season of peace,” wrote one of the event’s organizers, Walter Ritte, on social media.…

Molokai Kumu Develops Online Keiki Program

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2020

Ka Hale Hoaka News Release

Ka Hale Hoaka, an online Hawaiian learning school, is pleased to announce its Keiki Program.

The 16-module program is targeted to students ages 5-11 and teaches Hawaiian language, music, chant, hula, arts, and crafts. The Keiki Program is designed to be implemented into the existing distance learning curriculum of elementary schools statewide.

The Keiki Program is taught by co-founder Maile “Kumu Maile” Naehu, a Kumu, Native Hawaiian educator, performer, artist, and community organizer from the island of Molokai. Naehu has taught Hawaiian immersion for Kamehameha Schools and is a resource teacher for the DOE.

“We founded Ka Hale Hoaka as a creative way to connect keiki to the rich, timeless teachings of Hawaii, especially as schools transitioned to online curriculum,” said Naehu.…

Krazy for Kolea Kontest Winners

Wednesday, October 28th, 2020

Nene O Molokai News Release

In the 23rd annual Krazy for Kolea Kontest, the Haase family takes first, second and third place for spotting this year’s kolea returnees with Butch number one, Evelyn number two, and Joyce number three. All three birds each observed hours apart at different locations in Kaunakakai on
Aug. 7. Butch will receive a Kolea research T-shirt and all three Haase members a free scoop of ice cream.

The kolea or Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva) is a swift flying shorebird and has been recorded migrating at 118 mph, although an average of 56 to 60 miles mph is more typical.…

New Partnership Brings Whale Sanctuary Education

Wednesday, October 14th, 2020

New Partnership Brings Whale Sanctuary Education

NOAA News Release

Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary and the nonprofit organization ʻAina Momona have signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to develop new outreach and educational projects for the community of Molokai. It is the first MOA between the sanctuary and a nonprofit on the island of Molokai.

ʻAina Momona is a Molokai-based Native Hawaiian nonprofit organization, founded in 2017 by Executive Director Walter Ritte and Trisha Kehaulani Watson, both former sanctuary advisory council members.

“We’re excited to partner with NOAA’s Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary on the stewardship of Molokai’s resources,” said Ritte. “Our reefs and ocean are important sources of food for our island people, who rely heavily on a subsistence economy.…

Exploring Youth Photography

Wednesday, October 7th, 2020

By Kanoelani Davis, Honeygirl English, Shaye Lauifi — Ahupuaʻa O Molokai; Puni Ke Ola
Susana Helm, Jackie Ng-Osorio, Becka Adolpho — UH Manoa

Puni Ke Ola (PiKO) is a community-based youth program that explores how culture can promote health and prevent substance use among the youths in Native Hawaiian communities. In this afterschool program, the ʻopio will be able to connect to themselves, their ohana and their community through the use of photography. Led by Kumu Kanoelani Davis, the photo strategy aligned with Hawaiian cultural values has sparked a fun and artistic way for the kids to express themselves. Their photos emphasize culture, health, and positive youth development.…

Youth Photography and Puni Ke Ola

Wednesday, September 30th, 2020

Youth Photography and Puni Ke Ola

By Susana Helm, Jackie Ng-Osorio, Becka Adolpho – UH Manoa; Kanoelani Davis, Honeygirl English, Shaye Lauifi – Ahupuaʻa O Molokai

Puni Ke Ola (PiKO) uses photography to engage youth in learning more about how traditional Hawaiian beliefs and practices promote health and can eliminate substance use in their own lives, as well as among their families and communities. Led by Molokai Kumu Kanoelani Davis and University of Hawaii at Manoa professor Susana Helm since 2015, the photo strategy has been aligned with Hawaiian culture. In PiKO, haumana take pictures while they participate in culturally immersive huakaʻi.

This year due to the pandemic, huakaʻi will be conducted virtually until it is safe to go live again, so youth may take photos around their own homes and communities.…

Improving Kupuna Health Through ʻAi Pono

Wednesday, August 26th, 2020

By Dr. Landon Opunui, ND and Miki Wong, RD, Na Pu’uwai

There are multiple social and health disparities Native Hawaiian kupuna face such as high rates of life-threatening diseases, financial hardship, disability, shorter life expectancies and underutilization of services. As a result, it should be no surprise that data suggests the health care needs of Native Hawaiian kupuna far exceed that of their non-Hawaiian counterparts. This leads to health equity problems.

Hawaiian culture emphasizes care for kupuna. However, many adult caregivers are less available to care for their aging loved ones because of competing work and ʻohana responsibilities.

Several studies have reported on the health benefits associated with a return to a precontact Hawaiian diet.…

Mo’omomi CBSFA Gets Support in Public Hearing

Wednesday, August 26th, 2020

Mo’omomi CBSFA Gets Support in Public Hearing

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

Decades of resource management, data collection, traditional knowledge, legislation and public hearings culminated last week in one of the final steps of the process to designate Mo’omomi as a state-recognized Community-Based Subsistence Fishing Area (CBSFA).

A virtual public hearing, held by the Dept. of Land and Natural Resources and lasting more than four hours last Wednesday, yielded a major of testimony in favor of the CBSFA, though written testimony that was submitted — during a period which closed Aug. 26 — was not available to the public online.

The proposed CBSFA, which would allow community co-management of resources, runs along Molokai’s northwest coastline from Ilio Point to Nihoa Flats, extending one mile out from the shoreline.…

CBSFA a Step Toward Hawaiian Self-Governance

Thursday, August 13th, 2020

Aloha kakou. I am Davianna McGregor, professor of Ethnic Studies and director of the Center for Oral History at UH-Manoa. I live in Hoʻolehua with my life partner, Dr. Aluli.

Recently, some of our neighbors put up signs saying that I should be shame for supporting the Moʻomomi Community-Based Subsistence Fishing Area (CBSFA).

Actually, Dr. Aluli and I are proud that for the past 25-plus years, we’ve been part of the Hui Mālama O Moʻomomi team to establish a CBSFA from ʻIliʻo Point to Nihoa.

Why do we support? Well, it was our Hoʻolehua Hawaiian Homestead community, not DLNR, that created the CBSFA designation.…

CBSFA Follows ‘Ike Kupuna

Thursday, August 13th, 2020

Opinion by Keani Rawlins-Fernandez

The highly anticipated Board of Land and Natural Resources public hearing on the Mo‘omomi CBSFA will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 19 at 5:30pm. Due to COVID-19, the hearing will be livestreamed. Testimony may be provided online or in-person with advanced registration.

What is a CBSFA? A Community-Based Subsistence Fishing Area designation is a type of fishing management area that encourages continued subsistence, and in Mo‘omomi’s case, would prohibit commercial fishing, except for trolling, within its boundaries. CBSFAs are not marine sanctuaries. It would not create “no-take zones,” like Hanauma Bay.

The Mo‘omomi CBSFA would not limit or prohibit anyone’s right to gather and feed their families: “§13-60.9-1(3) Recognize and protect customary and traditional native Hawaiian fishing practices that are exercised for subsistence, cultural, and religious purposes in the area.…