Active Bee Swarms on Pali Trail
Bee hives and swarms have been observed in the vicinity of switchback 26 on the Pali (cliff) Trail. Additional hives may be along the trail. Hikers should be observant of their surroundings and exercise caution.
Cemeteries are places for reflection. Graves and gravemarkers help us remember our loved ones and serve as touchstones for our emotions and the realities of death. There are thousands of graves on the Kalaupapa Peninsula and the individual gravemarkers provide a connection with the past for many Hawaiian families. But for our larger society, the graves at Kalaupapa, marked and unmarked, remind us of the human price paid for the Hansen’s disease isolation policies.
There are both precontact Hawaiian burials and historic cemeteries within the national park boundary. There is a cemetery in each historic Hawaiian land division, ahupua`a, on the peninsula at Kalawao, Kalaupapa, Makanaluna and on the edge of Kauhako Crater. All 12 of the cemeteries in Kalaupapa settlement are makai, or seaward, of Kamehameha Street, and immediately adjacent to the shoreline and beaches.
When the Kalawao leprosy isolation settlement was established in 1866, Kalaupapa was a small Hawaiian fishing village. A Calvinist congregation built a stone church in 1853, but the structure was converted into a jail prior to 1900 and its graves were leveled. By the turn of the century when the territory of Hawai`i moved many facilities from Kalawao to Kalaupapa, residents had formed two benevolent societies to save and take care of graves. Fences were built around the cemeteries to prevent cattle from damaging graves. In 1908 Kalaupapa settlement had two cemeteries along the water's edge, the Roman Catholic cemetery and Papaloa (meaning long, flat area) cemetery.
Today the 12 cemeteries reflect both the religious and cultural affiliations of Kalaupapa's residents: Catholic, Protestant, Mormon, Chinese, Americans of Japanese Ancestry, and Hawaiian. The inscriptions are in Hawaiian, Chinese, Japanese and English.
There are several types of grave markers in these cemeteries revealing changing tastes and styles through the decades. Many of the more recent graves have draped na lei, plastic flower bunches, and other mementos.
Makanalua and Kauhako Crater
At Makanalua is a historic cemetery, Kahaloko, with marked graves dating from 1887 to 1921. Its existence had been forgotten until recently cleared of vegetation and made visible from Damien Road. At Kauhako Crater are several graves, thought to be associated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at the turn of the century.
Click here to see a 360 degree panorama picture taken at this point on the peninsula.
On the east side of the peninsula at Kalawao, the cemeteries are associated with the two historic churches, Siloama Congregational Church and St. Philomena Catholic Church. In the St. Philomena cemetery are the graves of Father Damien (relic of his right hand), Brother Joseph Dutton, and several other religious workers who served at the Baldwin Home at Kalawao.
Beyond the church are two large fields. There are only a few marked graves, but these fields are believed to contain thousands of burials. The markers are long lost, but the inherent power of these fields is felt in remembrance of the people sent into isolation to live and die at Kalawao.
Did You Know?
The oldest building in the Kalaupapa Settlement is the Old Stone Church built in 1853. The thick masonry walls are made of lava rock with coral lime mortar. The structure is now being used as the National Park Service Ranger Station.