Stories about Molokai’s rich cultural history.

DHHL Seeks to Fence Off Grove

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015


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.…

Honoring the Ultimate Sacrifice

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

Honoring the Ultimate Sacrifice

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.…

Ka Hula Piko T-Shirts

Friday, May 29th, 2015

Ka Hula Piko T-Shirts

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. …

Nonprofit Receives OHA Grant to Restore Fishponds

Friday, May 29th, 2015

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.…

Ka Hula Piko 2015 Theme

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

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. …

Mo`olelo of Laka and `Olohe

Friday, May 15th, 2015

Community Contributed

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.…

Wild West End: Molokai Ranch Heritage Rodeo

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

Wild West End: Molokai Ranch Heritage Rodeo

Photo by Colleen Uechi.

As the bullriders packed up their protective gear and the last riders led their horses out of the Molokai Ranch arena, cowboy Maka Augustiro beamed with quiet pride. His 14-year-old son Chevy had just braved several long seconds in the ring with a madly bucking bull and won uproarious cheers from the crowd for his efforts. For the Augustiros and many other Molokai families, last Saturday’s Molokai Ranch Heritage Rodeo was a chance to admire each other’s grit and talent – and sometimes compete against each other.

“It gives us a time to come and have what we call a playdate for us, a time where we can make a sport of the work we do on the ranch,” said long-time paniolo Jimmy Duvauchelle.…

Paniolo Round Up for Rodeo

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

This Saturday, 80 paniolo from around the state will gather at the Jimmy Duvauchelle Arena for the first annual Molokai Ranch Heritage Rodeo, to celebrate a colorful slice of Hawaiian culture that was born to counter an environmental problem in mid-1800s Hawaii.

At that time, with newly introduced cattle threatening native crops and people, according to hawaiihistory.org, Kamehameha III realized the need to round up the rampaging livestock. He invited Mexican cowboys to the islands to instruct Hawaiians in horse riding and cattle herding, creating the paniolo and ranching lifestyle that is still a way of life for many in Hawaii.…

Kalaupapa Conserves Pieces of History

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

Kalaupapa Conserves Pieces of History

Community Contributed

By Carrie Mardorf, Chief of Cultural Resources, Kalaupapa National Historical Park

From March 9 to 20, Kalaupapa National Historical Park hosted two conservators, Curtis Sullivan and Theresa Voellinger, to conserve a number of significant objects within the park’s curatorial facility.  Sullivan and Voellinger are employed at Harpers Ferry Center, a specialized National Park Service (NPS) conservation and interpretive center in West Virginia.

Curtis Sullivan of Harpers Ferry Center cleans the surface of the Bishop Home crib.

During the course of two weeks, nine objects associated with Kalaupapa were conserved, including a crib from Bishop Home, an end table owned by Kenso Seki, large poi board, three ledger books from the American Japanese Association Hall, an Ed Kato sketch, and birth certificate and passport of Kenso Seki.…

Celebrating Prince Kuhio

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

Celebrating Prince Kuhio

Molokai residents and homesteaders gathered last Saturday to honor the legacy of Prince Jonah Kuhio, who lobbied for the Native Hawaiian advancement and established the 1920 Hawaiian Homes Act, providing land for Hawaiian families.

The annual community event at Lanikeha featured food, Hawaiian crafts, homestead products, exhibits and music. Sponsored by Ahupua`a O Molokai and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the celebration was also an opportunity for homesteaders to join and get information on local homestead associations.

“Molokai is where the first homestead began in the 1920s, and without Prince Kuhio we would not have homestead today,” said Kilia Purdy-Avelino, one of the event’s organizers.…