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Papakolea Tribute
April 28th, 2011

Papakolea Tribute to Prince Kuhio


Papakolea is such a very special place.  If you're not familiar with its incredible history (reads like a film, hey it was a film!) Actually our film documented the rich legacy of this small Native Hawaiian neighborhood in urban Honolulu. Once a place where people set up make shift dwellings when they were evicted from "squatters town" in the 1920s,  this hillside was one of the first settlements for Hawaii maoli (native people of the islands) who had lost their agrarian lifestyles and their farm lands. Forced to assimilate western ways of land ownership and a money based society (vs barter) and move to the city to survive, Papakolea is where many of them settled, and where many of the Queen's guards eventually came to live after the overthrow. The story of how these prime lands were deemed one of the state's official homesteads ($1 a year lease to eligible Native Hawaiians who must prove a 50% blood quantum to retain residency on the land but cannot own the land) is fascinating.  President Franklin Delano Roosevelt even visited the ladies of Papakolea in the 1930s having heard about their struggle with Congress, year after year, on behalf of their small enclave of Native Hawaiian families. Long story short they prevailed.  They bucked Congress and won the right to live in these hills and have been there ever since.

The Papakolea Hawaiian Civic Club hosts an annual event to honor Prince Kuhio and this year's festival was very special. Contributing artists included Makaha Sons, Darren Benitez, Moke Boy Kamealoha, Ainsley Halemanu, Papakolea, Hula Halau Ka Lik o Kapalai, The Big Deal, Waimanalo Sunset Band, and other special guests.  Big mahalo to Puka Asing who allowed us into the kitchen during such high stress, cooking for over 1000 guests, ooh so ono the grindz!  For more video visit Pacific Network

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2 Responses to “Papakolea Tribute”

  1. cloudia:

    We must cherish our special people & neighborhoods.

    Honolulu is a golden setting for her people: the Jewels!

    Aloha from Waikiki

    Comfort Spiral





    Well spoken.