There are currently several monuments at Kalaupapa
1) The Damien Monument at Kalaupapa donated by the
people of England;
2) Mother Marianne’s Grave which has a monument donated
by the people of Kalaupapa;
3) A Monument honoring Jonathan Napela on the grounds
of the LDS Church at Kalaupapa;
In addition, there is the Mother Marianne Library,
Father Damien’s Church, Damien Road, Paschoal Hall,
Lawrence McCully Judd Park, and the McVeigh Home, all
of which recognize the efforts of individuals who made
contributions to Kalaupapa’s history.
Only recently has an effort been started to recognize
the contributions of those forcibly separated from their
families and isolated at Kalaupapa to supposedly “protect
the welfare of society”. Recently, the Kalaupapa Trail
has been named after David Kupele and the five generations
of his family that were sent to Kalaupapa.
Objectives of the Current
1) The current Memorial should not honor one or two
people. Nor should it honor a “generic patient”. Hawaii
has a unique resource in that Board of Health Records
have a list, starting with Kauhauliko, #1, and 11 other
individuals who were sent on January 6, 1866, that includes
of all those sent to Kalaupapa and Kalawao up until
This most valuable resource should be fully utilized
to create a Memorial whereby each individual will be
remembered with their own identity rather than as a
part of a group.
This is especially important in a history where
people were denied their individual identities, given
numbers, and basically denied their place in their own
2) Only about 1300 graves of the 8000+ people who
were sent to Kalaupapa have been identified and many
of these are no longer visible. The Memorial should
provide a means through which family members can find
a sense of closure and a place where they can see their
family member’s name included as part of the history
3) Provide a means through which people can gain
a real understanding of the thousands of individuals,
90% of whom were Kanaka Maoli, who were forcibly sent
4) There are at least 2000 unmarked graves in the
large field next to Father Damien’s church, yet only
a few graves are visible. The Memorial has the potential
to bring this part of Kalaupapa’s history alive so that,
again, there is a real sense of how many thousands
of people were taken from their families and isolated
in this remote place.
It is proposed that a Memorial be designed
that would contain the names of every individual sent
to Kalaupapa and Kalawao from January 6, 1866 until
1969, listed according to their date of arrival. This
would also reveal fluctuations in the enforcement of
the isolation laws.
For example, almost 500 people were
sent to Kalawao in 1873 alone, a tremendous number of
people to be absorbed into the community in one year.
It is proposed that the Memorial be
designed in two parts:
1) The first part would contain the
names of the first 5,000 people sent to Kalaupapa,
most of whom lived at Kalawao. The Memorial would start
with Kahauliko, who arrived on
January 6, 1866, and end with
Nawahinelua, a 24 year old woman from Hamakua,
HI, who was admitted on October 10, 1896 and died on
September 7, 1901.
It is proposed that this portion
of the Memorial be located at Kalawao in the area towards
the back of the old Baldwin Home. This is a very large
area that extends back to the cliffs, where a large
Memorial could be placed without disturbing the historic
The design could include a meditative
walkway and area that would lead to the Memorial.
It is also proposed that a smaller
Memorial, without individuals names, be designed nearby
in honor of the hundreds of mea kokua, most of whom
were family members, who accompanied their relatives
out of the firm belief that people who were sick needed
to be cared for, rather than sent away alone.
2) The second part of the Memorial
would contain the names of the approximately 3,000 individuals
who arrived at Kalaupapa in the second part of its history,
when most of the community was concentrated on the Kalaupapa
side of the peninsula.
This part of the Memorial could either
be located at Kalawao or located at Kalaupapa.
There would be a provision whereby
the wishes of individuals from this era who do not want
their names included on the Memorial would be honored.
There would be a blank space indicating their place
in the history, but their choice not to have their name
The process for the first part of the
Memorial could be started immediately. The following
steps could be done simultaneously:
1) Gathering the names: If done by
someone familiar with the records, the first 5,000 names
could probably be compiled in one month.
2) A design contest should be launched
that would seek designs that would utilize the basic concepts
outlined above. This contest could be opened to students
and artists in Hawaii and extend to someone like Maya
Lin, who designed the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial as a
21-year-old architecture student.
3) Adequate funding should be sought
to enable the Memorial to be a worthy tribute to the
thousands of individuals who were denied the right to
home, family and community.
It is proposed that this first part of
the Memorial be completed first but that the second part
also be part of the design so that it can be added at
a later time. It is proposed to include the first 5,000
names first because these names are already in the public
domain. In addition, these first 5,000 names are more
straightforward than those in subsequent years when treatments
like chaulmoogra oil resulted in people being discharged
and readmitted again and again, resulting in one person
having several numbers.
Compiling a list of the last 3,000 names
will be a much more complicated process and will involve
including names that are not currently in the public domain.
Many more questions may arise during the process for the
second part of the Memorial which should not be allowed
to slow down the first part.
In light of the fact that the second
part of the Memorial may take more time, it is proposed
that a site be designated in one of the Kalaupapa graveyards
where those unable to find their family members can pay
tribute. This could be a grave that already exists, but
for which no identity is known, or a separate area could
be chosen and a small Memorial erected. This would enable
individuals whose relatives are from more modern times
to also have a sense of closure.
If the first part of the Memorial is
finished, it will make it easier to complete the second
part but this may still take some time, due to the considerations
It should be noted that history shows
that the first 5,000 people sent to Kalawao and Kalaupapa
were proud of their identities, having not yet had concepts
of shame forced on them by foreign cultures. Their pride
was shown in the hundreds of letters and petitions sent
to the Board of Health and the Legislature demanding their
most basic human rights.