Stories about Molokai’s rich cultural history.

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.…

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.…

Tutu’s Memories: Halcyon days at the Sheraton Kaluakoi

Friday, September 25th, 2015

Community Contributed

By Marie Yamashita

“You people here are so lucky,” said my good friend Ethel, who had come from Oahu with her husband and friends to spend another weekend golfing and staying at the Sheraton.   “It’s beautiful here and the course is better than our Mid Pacific Country Club on Oahu.”

That was way back in the early 1980s. Many times I had heard similar words from those who visited our island, not only from those who golfed, but others who came primarily to luxuriate in the hotel’s vacation atmosphere or to dine in the charming dining hall.

The view of Kepuhi beach was breathtaking.…