Stories about Molokai’s rich cultural history.

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.…

Honoring the Fallen

Thursday, June 4th, 2020

Honoring the Fallen

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

Molokai’s Staff Sgt Kimoha’e Puailihau and fellow National Guardsmen currently deployed on Molokai placed flags at the Ho’olehua Veterans Cemetery on Memorial Day May 25.

The service of the seven members of the Hawaii National Guard has been extended on Molokai, potentially until the end of June, dependent on instructions from Mayor Victorino, said Puailihau.…

Research Your Family Tree from Home

Wednesday, May 13th, 2020

HSPLS News Release

Through May 31, the Hawaii State Public Library System (HSPLS) is able to offer access to Ancestry Library Edition from home with just a library card.

Molokai library cardholders can access the Ancestry Library Edition to get census, vital data records, directories, and photos for those doing research on their family tree. During the COVID-19 crisis, Ancestry Library Edition is offering temporary remote access to cardholders while libraries remain closed to the public.

“We are so happy that the Hawaii State Public Library System can provide access to this rich genealogical research tool from home. It’s really amazing when you can see a photo of a written census that your grandmother was part of when she was 9, and find clues to other family members,” said State Librarian, Stacey A.…

Your May Day

Wednesday, May 6th, 2020

Your May Day

Mahalo to all who sent us your photos for our May Day contest! We couldn’t choose just one, so here are a few of our favorites, with some words from the photographers.


Submitted by Jessica Sanchez:
Aloha from Kalaupapa! Jessica Sanchez and Albert Espaniola with dogs Hulali and Hooch.



Submitted by Eugene Santiago:
I’d like to submit this photo I took on the beach… to recognize the Hinahina for its subtle beauty that gets overlooked many times, just because it’s a ground cover. I discovered its beauty after being curious and getting on my knees to get a real close up look and what I saw was truly amazing.…

Ghostbusters of Kalaupapa

Wednesday, March 25th, 2020

By Father Pat Killilea, St. Francis Church, Kalaupapa
I was here in my easy chair, where I tend to think better, when they burst onto the scene. Some were carrying white buckets while others were toting back tanks from which hoses protruded. They looked like ghostbusters. I wondered if they had been sent here by the Board of Health to fumigate the church property or perhaps the resident pastor himself. Then I recognized their supervisor was Kaohulani. So I felt safe to go out to meet and greet them.
In actuality, these “ghostbusters” are a group of students from the University of Hawaii at Hilo on Hawaii Island.…

Lantern Ceremony Brings Grieving Families Together

Thursday, November 7th, 2019

Lantern Ceremony Brings Grieving Families Together

The Molokai community gathered last Saturday evening to remember the 20 lives lost 30 years ago when Aloha Island Air flight 1712 crashed in the mountains of east Molokai on Oct. 28, 1989. Family members and friends of the victims released glowing lanterns onto the water at twilight, joining other residents in remembering loved ones they’ve lost at the sixth annual Floating Lantern Ceremony.

“Sometimes in grief, you feel that if you push it away, it will make it easier, but in reality we need to remember their names, remember their faces, remember their lives and the ways that they impacted our lives,” said Barbara Helm of Hospice Hawaii Molokai, one of the event sponsors, along with Molokai’s Guzeiji Soto Mission.…

Halawa Church Has Collapsed

Thursday, September 5th, 2019

Halawa Church Has Collapsed

Portions of the iconic lerusalema Hou Church in Halawa Valley fell to the ground last week after sitting vacant since 2015. Tucked into the lush valley, the church was built in 1948 and at more than 70 years old, it had fallen into disrepair. The church’s Kahu Reynolds Ayau said in 2015 that the church was closing its doors for services because “dry rot and termites have made it a total hazard.”

Pilipo Solatorio of Halawa said he recalls helping to build the church when he was a kid. His grandparents, along with other families, worked to erect the structure and it had seen many services, celebrations and community losses in its 70 years.…

Kalaupapa Pavilion Gets a Facelift

Thursday, January 17th, 2019

Kalaupapa Pavilion Gets a Facelift


For 53 years, a small building has stood at the edge of the ocean in Kalaupapa, holding many special occasions and happy memories for residents. The Ocean View Pavilion, built in 1965 by members of the Kalaupapa Lions Club, recently underwent long-awaited renovations and was reopened in a dedication ceremony on Dec. 19.

“After years of sea spray, rain and trade winds, the building needed repairs, specifically a new roof, some structural beams and a painting,” stated a Kalaupapa Lions news release last year. “ [It] stands as a testimony to the strength and fortitude of the residents of this tiny settlement.”…

Recalling Kulaia History

Sunday, September 9th, 2018

Molokai Canoe Festivals Committee News Release

Historical records dating back to 1865 note Hawaiian outrigger canoe race competitions as one of the many events our kupuna took part in during annual la kulaia, days of festivities honoring the Kingdom of Hawaii and especially honoring our beloved monarchy.  During that era, kulaia generally occurred once a year during a national holiday or birthday celebration of a mo’i (monarch). 

After the overthrow of our beloved Hawaiian Kingdom, kulaia festivities changed focus and no longer celebrated the Kingdom and monarchy.  In historical records, we see the shift from national celebration to simply canoe race competitions. …

Eviction Notice Threatens Mule Ride

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018

Eviction Notice Threatens Mule Ride

Almost two years of legal disputes between the Sproat family — owners of Kalaupapa Rare Adventures mule ride — and landowner R.W. Meyer, Ltd. have come to a head with an eviction notice for the mule operators. Both parties are now claiming ownership to the Kalae property where the mule barn has stood for more than 40 years.

Paul Meyer, President of R.W. Meyer, Ltd., said Kalauapa Rare Adventures’ lease ended in January 2017 and since then, the company has not paid rent and refused to negotiate a new lease. The Sproats say they have a title to the land so they don’t need to pay rent.…