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Lei for Kalaupapa: lei-making event and Molokai donation locations

Hui Malama Makanalua News Release

This year, June 30 marks the 45th anniversary of the end of the isolation of Hansen’s disease (leprosy) patients at the Makanalua peninsula (commonly known as Kalaupapa). In an effort to observe this anniversary and honor those who were subject to the policy, local non-profit Hui Malama Makanalua will be placing lei at every known burial site on the peninsula with their project named Lei Hali‘a O Kalaupapa (lei in remembrance of Kalaupapa), with the assistance of Kalaupapa National Park personnel.

Community members will be coming together to make and/or donate lei for the June 30th ceremony in Kalaupapa at these two locations:

Kulana ‘Oiwi on Saturday, June 28 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Bring lei making supplies and materials or drop-off your lei.

Kalele Bookstore on Saturday, June 28 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Drop-off lei.

And if you cannot make a lei but want to participate – buy one to donate! $6 per lei – call 553-5112 to pre-order. All lei should be made from natural materials and should measure approximately 36 inches before tying (please tie all flower lei).

From 1866 to 1969, close to 8,000 individuals with Hansen’s disease were sent to live in “quarantine” on the peninsula. From challenges wrought during the early decades of the leprosy settlement, to tsunami damage at some of the cemeteries, there remain approximately 1200 marked graves, along with several known unmarked burial sites.

Hawaii’s isolation policy for those with Hansen’s disease came to an end on June 30, 1969. The group is endeavoring to honor all of the kupuna of this `aina with their efforts.

Although the isolation policy is no longer in affect, the Department of Health still enforces restricted access to maintain privacy for the resident-patients. Those interested in being a part of the event, should coordinate through Hui Malama Makanalua.

For more information, contact Hui Malama Makanalua by email makanalua@gmail.com, at huimalamamakanalua.org, or on Facebook, facebook.com/leihaliaokal


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