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Family Gatherings and Discussions

Descendants of Kalaupapa gather in a circle of prayer and celebration of their ancestors after sharing memories and thoughts at Windward Community College following a presentation at an exhibit held in Gallery ‘Iolani.

Photo: Valerie Monson

Many descendants still experience the pain of the separation caused when their ancestors were taken from their families and sent to Kalaupapa. This pain not only affects those family members who knew their close relative(s) at Kaluapapa, but also more distant family members coming to grips with what their ancestor was forced to endure and overcome.


Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa is committed to helping these family members heal by offering gatherings with other descendants to share their thoughts and feelings – and to talk about the history in a way they can find comfort knowing that Kalaupapa was a loving community where their ancestor most likely found friendship, love and hope again.


Long-lasting friendships have resulted from descendants meeting one another through their Kalaupapa ancestors.


The descendants of Kalaupapa are now among the leaders of Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa, taking over the mantle from the Kalaupapa residents and founding members of the ‘Ohana who are now getting older. The descendants will ensure that the legacy of their Kalaupapa family lives on forever.


Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa hosts these family gatherings in conjunction with our exhibits so descendants can get a better understanding of the history and share their feelings with others who have similar experiences.


In the future, The Kalaupapa Memorial will serve as a place of healing for descendants. The design of the Memorial -- two interlocking circles --  includes the families who left behind when loved ones were sent to Kalaupapa and descendants. The upper circle of the Memorial represents the people of Kalaupapa -- their names will be engraved on slabs around that circle. The lower circle represents the families who were left behind and future descendants -- that circle includes a grassy interior where people will be encouraged to sit and reflect after finding their ancestor’s name.

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