Dr. Aluli’s Homecoming

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

Photo by Catherine Cluett Pactol.

Photo by Catherine Cluett Pactol.

Molokai’s beloved Dr. Noa Emmett Aluli was brought home last week on the Hokule’a, after his passing on Nov. 30, 2022, and welcomed by family, friends and a large gathering of community in an emotional ceremony at Kaunakakai Wharf. The sound of the pu greeted Hokule’a as it approached, and cultural practitioners chanted it in to dock. A hushed crowd looked on as Aluli’s ashes were passed from Hokule’a’s deck to awaiting family.

Aluli’s life partner, Davianna McGregor, with his lei-draped urn in her arms, talked about the parallel paths of Hokule’a’s leadership and that of the organization that Aluli was instrumental in founding. 

“…The navigation ‘ohana and the Protect Kahoolawe ‘ohana has really opened up and reconnected us as Hawaiians to our soul as Hawaiians, that is, to our spiritual beliefs as well as to the knowledge and brilliance of our kupuna,” she told those gathered at the wharf. “So we celebrate Emmett’s life but also his legacy for the generations to come to learn and continue his belief that the life and health of the land is the health of the people and is the health of the lahui…. Mahalo nui for welcoming him home.”

Services for “Kauka,” as he was fondly known, were held on Molokai last Saturday, and services on Oahu will take place next month. 

Photo by Catherine Cluett Pactol.


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