Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa Resource Library: Ola Ka Inoa

In the past three years, Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa has been able to help families reconnect with their Kalaupapa roots through diligent research, partnerships and the generous support of our funders and donors. We are proud to announce that we have a growing library of names, dates, marriage records and related information of the people who were sent to Kalaupapa along with a newly developed catalogue of old photographs and letters from early residents written mostly in Hawaiian.

The Kalaupapa Names Project

Thanks to the work of ‘Ohana historian Anwei Law, the Kalaupapa Names Project database now includes more than 7,000 names of individuals who were sent to Kalaupapa between 1866 and 1930. All of these names are available in the public domain and will become the centerpiece of the Kalaupapa Memorial, but we are already using this information to help families learn more about their Kalaupapa ancestors. ‘Ohana leader Pauline Puahala Hess, who has been assisting with the project, has compiled nearly 1,000 marriage records of couples who wed at Kalawao or Kalaupapa between 1900 and 1930. Pauline is now at work on the records of children born at Kalaupapa. The ‘Ohana also has 4,500 death records in our digital library.
Service Learning Project with Kapiolani Community College
Hawaiian language students at Kapiolani Community College have joined with the ‘Ohana in a unique endeavor aimed at further bringing back the voices of the early residents of Kalaupapa. The students have been scanning letters from Board of Health files that were written from Kalaupapa beginning in 1866 – as might be expected, many of these letters were written in Hawaiian. The students are noting the subject matter of each letter scanned as well as the names of the sender and recipient. At a later date, the ‘Ohana will prioritize the letters for full translation. This project helps students learn how to use primary resource materials while increasing our knowledge of the early history of Kalaupapa.

The Kalaupapa PhotoBank
“Words can not express how wonderful it was to receive the photo of my great-grandmother. … This allowed us to put a face with a name…she forever lives in our heart. For us, the photo gave great-grandma life again!’’

Kawaikoeahiokekuahiwi Wong-Hoe —Wiliama Namahoe, 64, who had never seen a photograph of his great-grandmother, Kawaikoeahiokekuahiwi Wong-Hoe, until he contacted Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa.

The Kalaupapa PhotoBank is one of the ‘Ohana’s newest projects: a digital catalogue of images from historical and contemporary sources. These photos, many of them fragile from age and sometimes difficult to locate in the various public archives, will be made available to family members, many of whom – like Wiliama Namahoe -- have never seen a photograph of their kupuna. The ‘Ohana already has about 300 pictures in the PhotoBank with a goal of 500 by the spring of 2011 and an ultimate goal of 2,000.

Wiliama Namahoe felt closer to his great-grandmother, Kawaikoeahiokekuahiwi Wong-Hoe, after he received a photo of her that had been found by Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa historian Anwei Law.
Photos courtesy of Wiliama Namahoe


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