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Historical records dating back to 1865 note Hawaiian outrigger canoe race competitions as one of the many events our kūpuna took part in during annual lā kulāia a.k.a. kulāia, which are days of festivities honoring the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi and especially honoring our beloved monarchy.  During the Hawaiian Kingdom era, kulāia festivities generally occurred once a year during a national holiday or birthday celebration of a mōʻī (monarch).


Subsequently after the overthrow of our beloved Hawaiian Kingdom, kulāia festivities changed focus and no longer celebrated the Kingdom and monarchy.  In historical records, we see the shift from national celebration, to simply canoe race competitions.  Therefore pieces of our historic kulāia were lost and forgotten.


In remembering the early years of the Molokaʻi Hoe along with the Aloha Festivals Hoʻolauleʻa at Hale o Lono, it was Molokaʻi's version of the historic kulāia.  The festivities lasted for an entire weekend with campsites stretching from one end of Hale o Lono to the other and the spirit of ʻohana and aloha radiated to all; including the various Molokaʻi ʻohana, paddlers, visitors, spectators, and many others who came from the neighbor islands, outer states, and other countries.


In recent years, we have seen history repeated, where the idea of kulāia was forgotten, as the canoe race continued without the festival.  Wanting to revive the spirit of the festivals here on Molokaʻi, a grassroots community group came together and formed the Molokaʻi Canoe Festivals Committee whose members share the vision of bringing back the festivals to our community and sharing the true Molokaʻi aloha and hospitality to our visiting brothers and sisters of the paddling ʻohana.  This practice of kulāia is an important cultural tradition that connects us to our aliʻi and our kūpuna. KULĀIA gives us an opportunity to enlighten, embrace and share with those who visit our island about our values and resources we cherish which is our life source that sustains us and keeps Molokaʻi…Molokaʻi.  May we embrace this valuable tradition and pass it down to our own keiki and moʻopuna for generations to come.


Molokai Canoe Festivals ~ September 19, 2014

Mahalo Nui to MOLOKAʻIʻS COUNCIL WOMEN STACY HELM CRIVELLO for her vision and setting this movement in motion and our Event Director for her vision in creating this amazing Event.


Lori-Lei Rawlins-Crivello, Event Director

Maria Holmes

Raymond Hiro

Michelle Hiro

Nahulu Maioho

Pilahi Ignacio

Hokulani Alcon

Jr. Alcon

Luana Alcon

Avette Ponce

Helena Miguel

Tylor Tanaka


Lori-Lei Rawlins-Crivello

Maria Holmes

Kawika Crivello

Ipo Mossman-County of Maui




Adolph Helm-ʻAha Kukui o Molokaʻi Canoe Club

Carleen Ornellas- Nā Wāhine o Ke Kai

Luana Froiseth- Molokaʻi Hoe

William Kamai - Pailolo Challenge

Kamalu Poepoe-ʻAha Kiole/Molokaʻi



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