The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement News Release
Hilo, Hawaii – Over 1,000 people attended the debut of the Kalaupapa traveling exhibit at the East Hawaii Cultural Center (EHCC) in December 2011. The exhibit features the photographs of acclaimed photographer, Wayne Levin.
Organized by the nonprofit organization Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa, the exhibit features 100 photographs of Kalaupapa, her people and family members celebrating their ancestors. The words of the people accompany the photographs.
A discussion featuring family members sharing their experiences was held in conjunction with the show. The exhibit is funded in part by Hawai‘i Tourism Authority’s (HTA) Ku kulu Ola:
Living Hawaiian Culture Program, the Atherton Family Foundation, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) and IDEA, an international organization dedicated to empowering people affected by leprosy.
Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa was founded to promote the dignity of every individual sent to Kalaupapa since 1866, through advocating on behalf of current residents; preserving the unique history of Kalaupapa; and bringing the Native Hawaiians sent to Kalaupapa back to their family histories, the history of Kalaupapa, and the history of Hawaii.
Wayne Levin has been photographing Kalaupapa since 1984. When he became involved with Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa in 2003, he began photographing family members in ways that bring to mind their ancestors.
Sol Kaho`ohalahala, a member of the ‘Ohana Board of Directors, attended the opening of the exhibit in Hilo. A photo of Kaho`ohalahala visiting the grave of his Kalaupapa ancestor, Lillian Kaho`ohalahala is included in the exhibit.
“Seeing all of these photographs of Kalaupapa residents and now their families honoring their ancestors makes us realize that there is a future at Kalaupapa, a future of ‘ohana and always remembering our kupuna who are now part of the land,” said Kaho`ohalahala. “It was wonderful to meet other descendants in Hilo and share our experiences.”
The exhibit will open on Oahu at Windward Community College in Kaneohe on March 2 and run through April 1 at the venue.
Later, the exhibit will appear at Kapolei Hale and Maui Arts and Cultural Center. For more information as it becomes available on exhibit locations, family discussions and dates, please visit www.kalaupapaohana.org.