• View of the Kalaupapa Peninsula


    National Historical Park Hawai'i



About Hansen's Disease

Hansen's disease, more commonly known as leprosy, is one of the world's most misunderstood and feared diseases. For centuries people have shunned the those afflicted and forced those with the disease to live in isolation. Now it is known, the disease is one of the least communicable of all diseases and is easily treated. Learn more about Hansen's disease.


The Hawaiians

Hawaiians lived at Kalaupapa 900 years before Hansen's disease settlements were established. Generations of families had developed spiritual and subsistence connections to the 'aina, or land. Learn more about the Hawaiians and their culture.

The Patients

Since the very first patients arrived at Kalaupapa records and their stories have been recorded. This data offers a detailed view into what a life in isolation at Kalaupapa was like. Learn about the patient experience through their own testimonials.

Na Kokua - The Helpers

Hansen's disease patients were not the only people who went to Kalaupapa. Friends, family, and others who wanted to ease the emotional and physical suffering of the patients also came to Kalaupapa. Read more about the kokua - the people who came to help.


Did You Know?

Brother Dutton with Patients

Brother Joseph Dutton went to Molokai in 1886 to assist Father Damien and worked among the patients for 44 years. He kept the world posted on Kalaupapa, so his address book contained over 4000 names and bags of mail delivered to him sometimes weighed as much as 50 pounds.