An historical exhibit developed by Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa will be on display in the atrium of the Ka`a`ike Building at UH Maui College from October 16-December 6. The exhibit, “A Source of Light, Constant and Never-Fading,” emphasizes the strong relationship between the people of Kalaupapa and the Royal Family of Hawaii, a chapter of the history of Kalaupapa not often told.
“The ‘Ohana is so excited to bring this exhibit to Maui College, “ said Clarence “Boogie” Kahilihiwa, a resident of Kalaupapa for more than 50 years and President of Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa. “This is a great opportunity to learn more about the history of Kalaupapa as told by the people themselves.”
A blessing will be held at 6 p.m. October 16 followed by a Powerpoint presentation, “Bringing The Families Home,” by ‘Ohana Coordinator Valerie Monson who will also lead walkthroughs of the exhibit on October 19 and 26 and November 2, all beginning at 1 p.m. The public is invited to all events; there is no charge.
Between 1866 and 1969, an estimated 8,000 people were taken from their families and sent to Kalaupapa because of Hawaii’s leprosy isolation policies. About 5,200 of these individuals were sent to Kalaupapa prior to the annexation of Hawai‘i by the United States, approximately 97% of whom were Native Hawaiian.
Members of the Royal Family were deeply moved by the situation facing so many of their “beloved people” who were sick. They visited Kalaupapa, read petitions, wrote letters, mourned friends who had been taken from their midst and did what they could to make life better for those afflicted with the disease. Leprosy was not an abstract problem, but a very real presence in their lives.
At the same time, [...]