“E Ho‘ohanohano a E Ho‘omau. . . To Honor and To Perpetuate"


The Restoration of Family Ties

Donna Sterling © Val Monson
Donna Sterling finds her ancestor, Nahuina, on the list of names of the very first people sent to Kalaupapa on Jan. 6, 1866.
Valerie Monson photo

Word about the ‘Ohana and the research we have done is spreading all around Hawaii and to descendants living on the Mainland. Over the past year, we have had requests from family members to look up information on more than 500 individuals who were sent to Kalaupapa! It’s astonishing to think that in such a short time we have heard from the families of more than 5 percent of the estimated 8,000 people sent to Kalaupapa. We have been able to help descendants learn more about the lives of their Kalaupapa kupuna – and the descendants have been able to help the ‘Ohana with information that they have.

In August, the ‘Ohana printed out more than 7,100 names of those who were sent to Kalaupapa and carried those names around the islands to reconnect with their descendants. After three weeks of public presentations, school workshops and appearances at conferences, we were overwhelmed with the interest in every community we visited.

Edward Weight
Ed Weight proudly holds a picture of his mother, Marcia Ka-ne, on September 23, 2011 – the first time he had ever seen a photo of his mother who gave birth to him at Kalaupapa.
Valerie Monson photo

We met Donna Sterling, the descendant of Nahuina, one of the first three women who were sent to Kalaupapa on Jan. 6, 1866. We also met Maika`i Kapahe`e Kaufman, the very young descendant of Kapahe`e who was sent to Kalaupapa from Kalalau Valley on Kaua`i shortly after the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy.

We also received a call from Naomi Weight, the wife of Edward Weight. Ed was born in Kalaupapa in 1930 to Harold Weight and Marcia Ka-ne, but he had never seen a photograph of his mother despite years of searching. With the assistance of the Department of Health, a photo of Ed’s mother was located -- along with a photo of his father and grandmother who also had been at Kalaupapa. The ‘Ohana printed out these photographs, framed them and presented them to Ed and his family.

The Kalaupapa Memorial

Kalaupapa Memorial Site
The future location of the Kalaupapa Memorial on the site of the former Baldwin Home for Boys and Men.
DeGray Vanderbilt photo

The ‘Ohana continues to move forward with plans for the Kalaupapa Memorial that will list the names of those who were sent here. We are wrapping up federal compliance requirements and hope to announce plans early in 2012 for the competition to select the design of the Memorial and begin fundraising.

New brochure in English…
and Olelo Hawaii

Inside this letter, you will find a new brochure about ‘Ohana activities and information on how to donate to keep our programs going. When we printed this brochure in English, we suddenly realized: why are we not printing this in the language spoken by most of the people who were sent to Kalaupapa? Of the first 5,000 people sent to Kalaupapa (1866 to 1896), 95 percent were Hawaiian and almost certainly spoke the language of their homeland. With more and more young Hawaiians learning the language today, we thought it only appropriate for our brochure to be printed in both English and Hawaiian. We have included the English version with your letter. If you would like the brochure in Hawaiian, please contact us and we will send you one. Mahalo to Kapulani Antonio, kumu at Kamehameha Schools on Maui, for her translation.

Copyright © 2011. Ka Ohana O Kalaupapa. All rights reserved.