History

Stories about Molokai’s rich cultural history.

Kalaupapa Remembers Edwin Lelepali

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

Kalaupapa Remembers Edwin Lelepali

By Rick Schonely, Staff reporter

Photo by Rick Schonely

A Kalaupapa legend Edwin “Uncle Pali” Lelepali passed away at the age of 88 on Feb. 7, 2016, and the Kalaupapa community celebrated his one year of passing earlier this month on Tuesday, Feb. 7, in Kalaupapa. A service was held at Kana`ana Hou Church with Pastor Richard Miller and Charles Buck, Conference Minister of the Hawaii Conference of the United Church of Christ, and along with many of his friends. Uncle Pali’s favorite music was played by the Kalaupapa Backyard Band and stories were shared by many. After the service and music, everyone headed to the grave site at Papaloa Cemetery for more beautiful words, music, hula and poetry.…

Trail Access Threatens Mule Ride

Tuesday, February 7th, 2017

Trail Access Threatens Mule Ride

The Sproat family, owners of Molokai’s legendary mule ride, say they’re worried land access issues may prevent the business from continuing operation.

Photo by Catherine Cluett Pactol

The Kalae barn that serves as their base of business — home to the mules that make daily guided trips down the rugged Kalaupapa trail — is on land owned by R.W. Meyer Ltd, leased by the Sproats. R. W. Meyer also owns the land at the trailhead by Kalae Highway, through which mules and hikers must pass to access the settlement.

The late Buzzy Sproat operated the mule ride for more than 40 years, and his family has owned the business for 25 years.…

First African American Settler in Hawaii

Friday, January 22nd, 2016

Community Contributed

By Ramie Kuahuia, Aka`ula School Student

Editor’s note: This is an edited version of a paper Ramie Kuahuia, a ninth grader, wrote for English class at Aka`ula School. It was submitted for print by her teacher, in observation of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day this week and Black History Month coming up in February.

Anthony D. Allen, one of the first African Americans to settle in Hawaii, was prosperous and made many contributions to Hawaii.

Allen was born a slave in German Flats, New York in 1774. His mother was likely a slave and his father was a free man.…

Celebration Through Donation

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

Celebration Through Donation

For 80 years, Molokai Drugs has doled out over-the-counter remedies to thousands of island residents. This year, however, the island’s only pharmacy is tending to the health of a unique customer: Molokai High’s ailing fleet of school buses.

To celebrate their milestone anniversary, the owners of Molokai Drugs donated a new 14-passenger bus to the high school, which spent nearly $15,000 last year in bus repairs alone.

To thank the community for 80 years of aloha, Molokai Drugs donated a much-needed bus for students. Photo by Lee DeRouin

The brand-new vehicle, which will be used on Maui, is a start to replacing a collection of buses that over the years have cost the school thousands of dollars, delayed numerous trips and limited the number of students and equipment that teams can take off island.…

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 Memories: Waikiki as I knew it

Friday, November 20th, 2015

Community Contributed

By Marie Yamashita

“Bruce, please point out Paoakalani Ave. where I grew up,” I asked my son as we drove along Kalakaua Ave. in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

“It’s further on,” he replied.

The colorful sights along Kalakaua fascinates me.   There are tourists, surfers, beachgoers, hawkers, panhandlers, and towering hotels, restaurants, elegant shops and convenience stores.

Shortly past Kuhio Beach Bruce points, “There’s Paoakalani.” I strain to see. It’s between two big hotels.

Waikiki had changed from the time I grew up there in the 1920s, ‘30s and ‘40s. In the ‘20s there were only three hotels — Moana, Royal Hawaiian and Halekulani.…

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.…

$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.…

‘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.…