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Kalaupapa Place Names: Waikolu to Nihoa
384pp. April 2018
Kalaupapa Place Names: Waikolu to Nihoa
Author: Clark, John R. K.;
In Kalaupapa Place Names, John Clark presents a unique history of the leprosy settlement on Moloka‘i, based on his meticulous research of more than three hundred Hawaiian-language newspaper articles. He first assembled an extensive list of familiar and long-forgotten place names associated with the Kalaupapa peninsula and then searched for them in the online repository of Hawaiian-language newspapers. With translation assistance by J. Iāsona Ellinwood and Keao Nesmith, he discovered articles that show a community of Hawaiians from every island except uninhabited Kaho‘olawe. Their stories reveal an active community with its members trying to live their lives as normally as possible in the face of a debilitating disease. The articles also contain a wealth of information about medical practices of the day, including medical terminology, and descriptions of funeral services and burials.

The first section of the book contains newspaper articles arranged under an alphabetical listing of place names. The second section organizes the material into chronological segments, from before the establishment of the Kalaupapa Settlement to the death of Mother Marianne Cope in 1918. These two sections are followed by a collection of kanikau or lamentations; interviews with Kalaupapa residents; and a list of Hawaiian language newspapers. Introductory paragraphs for groupings of newspaper articles assist the reader in visualizing the physical landscape, and understanding the history and significance of a particular location. The poetry in the Hawaiian language is evident throughout the translations, especially in the kanikau.

Kalaupapa Place Names is a treasure trove of information, with its intimate look at a community brought together by adversity, but held together by a determination to achieve a sense of normalcy.

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"Through his purposeful selection of articles, Clark offers a realistic and balanced portrayal of a community which, like all others, had its own share of trials, tragedies and triumphs. Kalaupapa Place Names is more than a book about geographical locations and historic sites. It is an emotional travelogue with Kalaupapa as the backdrop. Anguish and loss are felt in the heartrending kanikau composed for loved ones who have died. Strong opinions, biases, and prejudices are encountered in candid letters to the editor. Compassion and concern are revealed in detailed reports of visits by the royal family, legislative committees, and others. And, a sense of pride shines through in eyewitness accounts of activities and events that define and celebrate the Kalaupapa community." —Stuart W. H. Ching, Archivist, Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, U.S.A. Province
Author: Clark, John R. K.;