Kuhio Day Celebration

By Ahupua`a o Molokai

March 26 in Hawaii is recognized as Kuhio Day in honor of Prince Kuhio Kalaniana`ole. This year, the holiday fell on Monday, March 27. While many took advantage of the day off to spend with family at the beach or just at home relaxing, many homesteaders and non-homesteaders took time to celebrate and be thankful to Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana`ole for his efforts, diligence, and dedication to his people.

Kalaniana`ole, son of Pi`ikoi and Kekaulike, was adopted by King David Kalakaua and his wife, Kapi`olani, after his parents died. He rebelled the overthrow of the U.S government and served a year in jail for this act. He then went on self-exile away from Hawaii, touring Europe with his wife, Princess Kahanu. Upon his return to Hawaii, he spent the remainder of his life working for the betterment of his people.
It was Kalaniana`ole who began the County system, the Hawaiian Civic Clubs, and re-organized the Royal Order of Kamehameha. It was also he, who, because of the declining of his people, knew that, “the only method in which to rehabilitate the race was to place them back upon the soil.” And, in 1921 the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act was passed due to his persistence, though, not quite in the way he had intended – no blood quantum stipulation and the homestead land that was awarded would be in perpetuity. It is no wonder that we have dedicated a holiday to our Prince.

So, on Monday, March 27, the Ahupua`a o Molokai, a nonprofit organization that encompasses all of our Hawaiian Homestead Associations on Molokai, organized the Prince Kuhio Day Celebration, as they do each year. It was held at Lanikeha Hall in Ho`olehua from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. As we celebrated Kuhio, we also remembered our pioneer homestead families who if not had been successful in homesteading, the rest of us today, would not have homestead lands, for there would be no lands designated to this department.

The Ahupua`a o Molokai and all of its Associations would like to thank the Office of Hawaiian Affairs for funding this event, Molokai Baptist Church, Alu Like, Inc.’s Ke Ola Pono No Na Kupuna Program, Kaui Manera, DJ Pelekai, UH Maui College΄s Papa `Olelo Hawai`i Makahiki `Elua haumana, Val and Kone Temahanga and Halau Nohikupuhalaulani, `Ohana Kahokuloa, `Ohana Kaneakua, DHHL, Commissioner Gene Ross Davis, and all the Associations and members who played a part in putting this event together, Kamiloloa/One Ali`i Homestead, Kapa`akea Homestead, Kalama`ula Homestead, Kalama`ula Hou Homestead, Ho`olehua Homestead, Ho`olehua Ag, Farmers Alliance, and Makaku`oha.

This year has shown the greatest number of attendees to this event, though we hope that it will grow into something even greater in the future due to the large amount of people affected by his legacies (County, Hawaiian Civic clubs, DHHL, and homesteaders). If you are interested in helping next year or if you want information on joining any of these homestead Associations, you may contact Kilia Purdy-Avelino at molokai.aom@gmail.com. Mahalo ke Akua!

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