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Passing on Prince Kuhio’s Legacy

Moloka`i favorite Pili Pa`a performing on stage at this year's celebration

Families gathered at Lanikeha Recreation Center to celebrate what would have been Prince Kuhio’s 141st birthday on Saturday, March 24. His actual birthday, March 26, is recognized as a national holiday and celebrated every year across the islands. Guests young and old enjoyed a variety of vendor booths, food selections and live music performances in his honor.

Life might be different for present-day Hawaiian homesteaders if Prince Kuhio had not lobbied for the Hawaiian Homes Act, which was first passed in 1921. As the first royal-born representative for Congress, Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana`ole fought to ensure the preservation of 200,000 acres of land for native Hawaiians.

Seven different homestead associations were represented at this year’s celebration, sharing their products and pride in Hawaii’s heritage, This year, event organizers aimed to get the younger generation more involved, according to Ahapua`a o Molokai President Kammy Purdy. Keiki and young people helped sell food and drinks around the room.

“We are trying to get the younger generation to take over and help the community,” said Purdy, who added that she is currently grooming her own grandchildren for more cultural responsibilities.

“If it wasn’t for our prince, we would be landless… if not homeless. ” she said.

Purdy would like to thank the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the Molokai Visitors Association for their continued support.


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