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May 1, 2014

Ma‘i Ho‘oka‘awale ‘Ohana & The Journey Into Exile

By: Michele Gamble

by vrecinto on April 23rd, 2014
Ma‘i Ho‘oka‘awale ‘Ohana & The Journey Into Exile:
Hansen’s Disease in Hawai‘i
 “I Want the Wide American Earth: An Asian Pacific American Story” ‘Imiloa Lecture Series

The seldom told stories of Hawai‘i’s Hansen’s Disease sufferers who were exiled to Molokai will come alive in their own words when ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center hosts Dr. Kerri Inglis, Chair, Department of History at UH Hilo, for her talk “Ma‘i Ho‘oka‘awale ‘Ohana & the Journey into Exile: Hansen’s Disease in Hawai‘i, 1866-1969” on Thursday, May 1, at 4:00 p.m. The talk is presented as part of a continuing series being offered in conjunction with the Smithsonian traveling exhibition, “I Want the Wide American Earth: An Asian Pacific American Story.” Attendees may also tour the exhibit, which is on display until June 1, 2014 as part of a 13-city national tour.

From 1866 to 1969, approximately 8,000 persons were quarantined or exiled to the leprosy settlement at Kalaupapa.  Endeavoring to recover the voices of the patients who lived through this significant moment in Hawaiian history, Inglis will present her research on the letters and articles that patients and their loved ones wrote to the Board of Health and Hawaiian language newspapers in the 19th century, and share oral histories that were collected in the 20th century.  Together these records tell the story of a disease, a changing society’s reaction to that disease, and the long lasting consequences of that experience for Hawai‘i and its people.

Kerri A. Inglis serves as Chair of the Department of History and Associate Professor of Hawaiian & Pacific Islands History at UH-Hilo and is the author of Ma‘i Lepera: Disease and Displacement in Nineteenth-Century Hawai‘i (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2013).  Her professional interests include research and teaching on the history of disease and medicine, especially as they pertain to Hawai‘i and the Pacific, within a global context.

Inglis visits Kalaupapa regularly, and takes a group of UH Hilo students to the peninsula for a service-learning opportunity (for one week) every fall semester.
The Smithsonian traveling exhibition, “I Want the Wide American Earth: An Asian Pacific American Story,” celebrates Asian Pacific American history across a multitude of diverse cultures and explores how Asian Pacific Americans have shaped–and been shaped by–the course of the nation’s history.

Cost is $8 for members, $10 for general admission. Pre-purchase tickets at the ‘Imiloa front desk or by phone at 969-9703.

‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai‘i is a world-class informal science education center located on the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo campus. ‘Imiloa is a place of life-long learning where the power of Hawai‘i’s cultural traditions, its legacy of exploration and the wonders of astronomy come together to provide inspiration and hope for generations. The Center’s interactive exhibits, 3D full dome planetarium, native landscape, and programs and events engage children, families, visitors and the local community in the wonders of science and technology found in Hawai‘i. It is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday (closed Mondays).  For more information, visit the website at www.imiloahawaii.org.

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