Hurricane Ana Update: Beginning at 5 PM on Friday 10/17 the Pali Trail into the park will close until further notice. Saturday tours are cancelled, and no visitors are being allowed into the settlement until the storm passes. Check back for more updates. More »
Na Kokua, the helpers of Kalaupapa
Some people considered it an expression of love—the ultimate sacrifice. Going willingly to Kalawao, into isolation, to help a husband, wife, or child diagnosed with leprosy. Starting in 1866, many relatives and friends voluntarily left their home to accompany their loved ones and provide social, emotional, and physical aid.
Known as na kokua, or helpers, these people provided loving care that could not have been provided another way. Their presence served to eliminate loneliness and pain. Often, Board of Health and religious workers could not keep up with the workload of providing medical care, let alone complete other chores. Na kokua provided able-bodied labor for many tasks, including carrying water, handling freight, gathering wood, and raising livestock.
Did You Know?
On December 23, 1866, 35 people gathered together to organize the congregation of Siloama and establish the first church at Kalawao. Siloama means "Church of the Healing Spring". The protestant church structure was dedicated in 1871 and rebuilt in 1966.