Preserving Kupuna Voices

Ka Honua Momona News Release 

Na Leo Kupuna is a project of Ka Honua Momona that will gather the stories of Molokai’s kupuna. The goal is to interview about 20 kupuna and record their mana`o about place, people, lifestyle, values, history, and traditions in order to preserve this `ike (knowledge) for current and future generations. It will also gather specific stories regarding cultural identity and overall well-being, such as what wisdom, activities, practices, and thoughts or philosophies kept them grounded. 

These interviews will be transcribed and indexed by people names, place names, and subjects. The interviews, transcriptions and index will be housed at the Queen Lili`uokalani Children’s Center Native Hawaiian Library on Molokai, where it will be available to the community for study and educational use. Excerpts from the transcriptions will be published in The Molokai Dispatch, and eventually will be bound into a single booklet that will be made available to Molokai schools and individuals, as well as to cultural, community and youth organizations. 

The goal of this project is to strengthen identity and well-being in the Native Hawaiian community of Molokai, especially in Native Hawaiian youth. Increasing access and accessibility to the voices of Molokai’s kupuna – their stories, knowledge, wisdom, and values – will help to restore the kupuna’s voice to its properly revered and respected place in the family-community structure as a guide in life.  

This project, led by Kauwila Hanchett, is made possible through the support of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the Friendly Isle United Fund, Hau`oli Mau Loa Foundation, NOAA and KHM. 

Community members are welcomed to submit suggestions for kupuna interviewees as well as interview questions to KHM via email: KHMsteersman@gmail.com or by phone (808) 553-8353.

Ka Honua Momona (KHM) is a nonprofit organization, based on the island of Molokai, which seeks to foster connections between all aspects of the island ecosystem, including the people and culture. We firmly believe that Molokai can again return to abundance and become a self-sufficient model for all nations – mauka a makai (from the mountains to the sea). 

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