Ka Molokai Makahiki 2024
Ka Molokai Makahiki festivals for 2024 kicked off on Jan. 24 with the shouldering of the lei-draped Lonomakua banner in Halawa. The Ka’ahele A Lono procession began their four-day journey on foot across Molokai, stopping for community ho’okupu along the way, ending on Sunday at Kaiaka.
The theme of this year’s Makahiki was “Aia i Molokai ku’u aloha,” or “there upon Molokai is my love, my lineage, my connection, my ‘ohana.”
“May we be reminded of the unwavering aloha we have for our island and our ‘ohana, anchoring our aspirations in a steadfast commitment to love and uplift all that is around us,” wrote Ka Molokai Makahiki committee on their Facebook page.
The Makahiki games kicked off on Thursday night with the Ano Koa Ki’eki’e, or adult division decathlon. This included contests in traditional feats of strength and skill such as hukihuki, uma, ulumaika, moa pahe’e, 100 yard and 400 yard kukini and hakamoa.
Starting off with kukini and finishing with some legendary efforts in the hukihuki, the adult decathlon did not disappoint. Under the baseball lights, the fast-footed Chows, sturdy Bradley Aki, powerful Courtney Turner, determined Hoku Adolpho and more fought it out for the title of champion.
For the wahine, Turner took first place, securing 80 total points and her second championship title.
“Thank you to everybody for showing up and continuing this tradition,” said Turner. “It’s very important to me and I hope it is to all of you as well.”
In the men’s division, Aki took the title, adding to his multiple past decathlon wins.
Next, on Friday it was the keiki’s turn to compete. During the opening ceremony, students and kupuna representing each Molokai district entered the Kaunakakai field to offer ho’okupu to Lono. After the ceremonial observations, keiki from schools across Molokai ran, wrestled, and competed for the honor of champion.
Even a downpour couldn’t dampen spirits, as the festivities continued well into the night.