Photo by Catherine Cluett.
Last Saturday at Molokai’s Guzeiji Soto Mission, families gathered together to keep the memory of loved ones and the traditions of Japanese culture alive on Molokai. The island’s annual bon dance brought more than 100 residents and visitors together for lively drums, dancing and good food.
“It’s a time of celebrating ancestors who have passed on,” said Marge Bento, one of the event’s organizers. “We’re kind of partying with them.”
In an event repeated every summer in towns around Japan and places around the world, including Hawaii, community members smiled as they danced around the yagura, or bon dance tower, stepping to the beat of the heavily thumping taiko drums.…
The grove before renovation. Photo by Gayla Haliniak-Lloyd.
Just weeks ago, Molokai’s historic Kapuaiwa Coconut Grove was thick with shrubs, piles of dead fronds and manmade trash. Now, after a thorough weeklong overhaul, the ground is bare and smooth, the fallen tree trunks are stacked neatly and Molokai residents see what many of them said they remember growing up: an unobscured view of the ocean between the towering palms.
“We’re happy it’s clean. It’s like we got back the old Coconut Grove,” said Kalamaula Homestead Association President Gayla Haliniak-Lloyd, who said the last clean-up was about four years ago.
The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL), which owns land the property, organized the cleaning in response to community meetings in May and June during which many Kalamaula residents pointed out the grove’s deteriorating conditions.…
Thirty years ago, the first issues of The Molokai Dispatch were pasted together with rubber cement, hand delivered to off-island printers, and, granted the weather was good, delivered each Wednesday to Molokai readers.
Over time, operations moved between three locations, five owners, countless writers and interns and three taglines (remember ‘The Coconut Wireless of Molokai?’). Amidst the changes, the Dispatch has emerged as the longest standing—and currently only—newspaper on the island.
Each week, The Molokai Dispatch brings news to the island while upholding a set of values and guidelines aimed toward community empowerment and healthy dialogue through responsible journalism. The Dispatch has developed a focus on youth, culture, history, politics and the environment to best serve the interests of the entire Molokai community.…
Ka `Ohana O Kalaupapa News Release
Ka `Ohana O Kalaupapa was presented with two Preservation Awards by the Historic Hawaii Foundation at their annual awards banquet in Honolulu last month.
One of the projects cited was the exhibit, “A Reflection of Kalaupapa: Past, Present and Future” that features 100 photographs and quotes from the people of Kalaupapa and their families. The exhibit is currently on display at the Molokai Museum and Cultural Center in Kalae.
The `Ohana was also recognized for “The Restoration of Family Ties” program that has helped hundreds of families obtain more information about their Kalaupapa ancestors who were sent there because of government policies regarding leprosy or who were kama`aina prior to the establishment of the settlement in 1866.…
With Molokai’s historic Kapuaiwa Coconut Grove suffering from disease and human pollution, the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) has reached out to the State Historical Preservation Division (SHPD) to ask for guidance in fencing off the property.
Residents have been voicing their concerns at recent community meetings, explaining that they used to be able to see straight through the grove to the ocean. Now overgrowth and trash have obscured the view, and they want to see the grove be protected from human intrusion.
“For me I feel our resources are there for everybody,” said resident Kauila Reyes at a May 21 community meeting.…
Photo by Catherine Cluett.
On Memorial Day last Monday, families gathered to place fresh flowers on the markers of loved ones at the Ho`olehua Veterans Cemetery, while local veterans and community members joined in a ceremony to honor the ultimate sacrifice of their comrades and fellow residents. Boy Scouts placed American flags on each grave, which fluttered in the breeze that morning.
While there is sometimes confusion about the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day, veteran David Nanod explained that Memorial Day is to remember those who have passed, while Veterans Day honors the living.
During the graveside ceremony, Nanod read the names of Molokai residents who gave their lives in battle, and a bell was rung for each.…
Halau Hula o Kukunaokala News Release
In Native Hawaiian tradition, it is common for natural elements to symbolize body forms of ancestors. The natural element will usually have characteristics that are reminiscent of the ancestor represented. This year’s Molokai Ka Hula Piko T-shirts will be available for purchase on Saturday, June 6 at this year’s Ka Hula Piko celebration at Lanikeha Community Center from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
This year’s design depicts kinolau, or body forms, representative of Laka and `Olohe. It symbolizes the foundation and commitment of their given kuleana to malama all that they were entrusted with.
The `Ie`ie vine only grows and flourishes with the aid of an unyielding foundation. …
KHM News Release
Ka Honua Momona (KHM), a Molokai nonprofit focused on sustainability mauka a makai (from the mountains to the sea), has recently been awarded a $200,000 grant from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to restore two Hawaiian fishponds, Ali`i and Kaloko`eli.
The greater goal of the project is to return momona (health and abundance) to the land and people of Molokai through the community-based restoration of two ancient Hawaiian fishponds.
Ali`i and Kaloko`eli, located just past Kaunakakai Town, are approximately 30 acres each and were originally built in the 15th century. KHM holds a license for both fishponds, as well as 1.5 acres adjacent to Ali`i Fishpond, from the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.…
Halau Hula o Kukunaokala News Release
`Ae no Laka ka mole Ha`a o Ka`ana, `Ae no `Olohe ka mole Lua o Ka`ana. Recognized is Laka the root of Hula of Ka`ana, recognized is `Olohe the root of Lua at Ka`ana.
Each year at Ka Hula Piko we celebrate and honor the traditions and practices of our kupuna (elders) who have gone before us. We strive to educate and enlighten all people about the pre-Western history of Molokai and to perpetuate the legacy of our beloved Kumu Hula, John Ka`imikaua. With great effort we have worked to maintain the integrity of the `ike (knowledge) that was left in our care. …
Editor’s Note: Molokai Ka Hula Piko is a three-day native Hawaiian cultural festival celebrating the birth of hula on Molokai. Founded in 1991 by the late Kumu Hula John Kaimikaua, the festival continues to educate and enlighten all people of pre-Western Hawaii through excursions and a culminating celebration happening this year on June 4-6. Each year a theme is chosen, and this year’s theme centers around the contributions of Laka and `Olohe.
By John Kaimikaua, contributed by Halau Hula o Kukunaokala
In Molokai tradition, the martial art form of lua evolved from out of the hula. Laka learned the art of the dance from her older sister Kapo`ulakina`u on the hill Pu`u Nana at Ka`ana on the top of Maunaloa, west Molokai.…