Your donations help us care for and protect our valued collections, historical resources, and engage in interpretive/educational programs. Your contributions and support are greatly appreciated. Mahalo nui
On January 18th 2020, the Lānaʿi Culture & Heritage Center (Lānaʿi CHC) celebrated its 13th year as a community heritage center, and 10th year at its climate controlled museum facility. This non-profit heritage organization seeks to inspire people to be informed, thoughtful and active stewards of Lāna‘i’s heritage by preserving, interpreting and celebrating its natural history, Hawaiian traditions, diverse heritage and cultures, and ranching and plantation era histories. Over the last thirteen years, more than 120,000 people (residents and visitors) have participated in interpretive-educational programs in the museum and field. With the support of many partners, Lānaʿi CHC has engaged in stewardship of bio-cultural resources, developed platforms for accessing the history of Lānaʿi, and supported cultural literacy and place-based educational initiatives on Lānaʿi and across the state.
During the anniversary celebration, hundreds of community members and guests were treated to a multi-cultural experience including music by Hawaiian performers Ei Nei and Sean Naʿauao, Filipino folk dances, Kosraean songs, hula with Laʿikealoha Hanog’s hālau, impromptu hula, cultural crafts displays and workshops, stories from long-time Lānaʿi residents describing life and community values from the plantation days, and more. Partners with Hamline University (of Minnesota) also debuted a new multimedia kiosk that engages users in interactive learning to explore the bio-cultural history of Lānaʿi from Kuahiwi a Kai (Mountain to Sea).
Topping the event off was a hosted lunch offered free to residents and guests, including Lānaʿi venison chili and donated sheet cakes from the Four Seasons bakery. A time to share food and fellowship, the event not only celebrated the island’s rich history but also encouraged attendees to reflect on our shared past in order to work together to create a vision for the future. The event was generously supported by a grant from the Island Insurance Foundation, Pūlama Lānaʿi, and many volunteers. (Photos by Bryan Berkowitz and Kepā Maly)
Mahalo me ke aloha Island Insurance Foundation, Pūlama Lānaʻi, Four Seasons, Kahu Keola and Moana Freitas, Ei Nei (Dane Fujiwara, Grant Kono and Ekolu Chang), Sean Naʻauao, Jean Sumagit, Juan Degamo and the Lāna‘i Filipino Community Dancers, Bully Davis and friends, Uʻi Stokes, MaryLou Kaukeano & Crew, Culture & Historic Preservation Crew, Dale Kapua, Diane & Jonathan Preza, Alconcel `Ohana, Albert Morita, Warren Osako, McPal Morita, Richards Market, La‘ikealoha Hanog and Nā Hula o La‘ikealoha, Nat Ropa & LHES Middle School students, Mos Masicampo & Department of Natural Resources, Shelly Kaleialoha Preza, Dean Del Rosario, Matt Mano, Pam Alconcel, the Kosraean Church Choir, Onaona Maly, Hamline University, Bryan Berkowitz, and many more…
This short video sharing Lāna'i Culture & Heritage Center displays was produced by Anthony Ka'auamo Pacheco, and narrated by Executive Director, Kepā Maly.
In December 2015 Lāna‘i Culture & Heritage Center launched the GPS Web-enabled App, titled Lāna‘i Guide, in both Android and I-phone platforms.
In May 2016, we partnered with Pūlama Lāna‘i in development of a second phase of the work to create a web-based version of the app. The app won a Preservation Award from the Historic Hawai‘i Foundation in June 2016. And on September 12th, the new website ww.lanaiguideapp.org was launched with updated information covering the natural and cultural history of Lāna‘i.
It is the purpose of the website and app to provide residents, visitors and others interested in learning about Lāna‘i’s history with factual information, linking traditional knowledge with modern technology. To experience Lāna‘i and these new tools visit www.lanaiguideapp.org or download the app at the Apple Store or Google Play.
Since summer 2013 we have engaged students in stewardship and cultural stewardship and challenged them to think creatively about how to care for our island home. Our program includes visits to cultural sites like Hiʻi, Keahiakawelo, Maunalei, and Waiaʻōpae Fishpond and engages students in project based learning and stewardship.
In early 2015, the Executive Director and Board of Directors of the Lāna‘i Culture & Heritage Center developed a dynamic strategic plan to share our mission, vision and values with interested parties, and as a means of measuring outcomes of our work. The link below takes you to the strategic plan, which we expect will continue to evolve and adapt as we learn and continue working to fulfill our mission.
The history of land title on the island of Lāna‘i is fairly easy to track. It begins with the Māhele ‘Āina in which King Kamehameha III first granted fee-simple title to native claimants and others who had taken up residency in the island kingdom. It was closely followed by the issuance of a small number of Royal Patent Grants to native residents and one foreigner. Out of the total 89,000-plus acres of land on Lāna‘i, approximately 1,393 acres were granted to some 65 individuals in fee-simple interest. The balance of the land was held by the Crown, Government and five Ali‘i holders of entire ahupua‘a. Beginning in 1860, records of land sales appear in the Liber volumes of the Bureau of Conveyances. The record of native tenant title and transfer on Lāna‘i is well documented in the 100 years between 1860 to 1960.
Except for some peculiarities in transfer of title during the Walter Murray Gibson era (1864-1888), every conveyance of land was documented between grantors and grantees. In 1906, Territorial Governor Carter engaged in a land deal with Charles Gay and partners, and following a court case, the Territory was allowed to sell the eight ceded/government ahupua‘a on Lāna‘i to Chas. Gay. With the exception of the several kuleana or royal patent lands still held by native tenants, their heirs or assigns, this action extinguished all public claims to land on Lāna‘i.
When James Dole’s Hawaiian Pineapple Co. Ltd. (HAPCo) purchased Lāna‘i in late 1922, they entered into a process of documenting all their title to lands conveyed in the purchase, and also engaged in additional purchase of interests in a few of the remaining fee-simple parcels. This action was largely recorded as a part of Land Court Application No.’s 590 (Kaumālapa‘u in 1923), 635 (por. of Kamoku and Kalulu in 1924 & 1925), 786 (por. of Kamoku and Kalulu in 1927), 843 (por. of Mahana in 1928), 862 (identifying title for all lands on Lāna‘i in 1928), 1590 (identifying various kuleana and grant parcels on Lāna‘i in 1944 & 1952), and 1881 (por. of Kahalepalaoa, Ka‘ōhai Ahupua‘a in 1972).
Close to, if not 100% of the Māhele ‘Āina, Royal Patent Grants, and Bureau of Conveyances documentation from Lāna‘i (ca. 1846 to 1960) have been digitized and transcribed, and may be found through this link.
Beginning in 2007, we initiated a newsletter series to share activities and events in which Lāna‘i Culture & Heritage Center is engaged, and to elicit donations to support the work of Lāna‘i’s only museum/heritage center. Nā Hoaloha o Lāna‘i (Friends of Lāna‘i) chronicles notable events, donors, and growth over the years.
Lāna‘i : The Little Island With a Big Heart. By Kepā Maly, Executive Director Lāna‘i Culture & Heritage Center. Generations Magazine – Hawai’i’s Resource For Life. April/May 2019
Over the years, Lāna‘i Culture & Heritage Center programs have been recognized with preservation award and service awards. Two of our important initiatives and acknowledgement include the Cultural Literacy and GPS Web-enabled App programs
Legacy Giving/Endowment of Lāna‘i Culture & Heritage Center
The Lāna‘i Culture & Heritage Center is supported by donations from friends, island residents and visitors. The board of the Lāna‘i Culture & Heritage Center has started an endowment fund with the help of some generous friends and board members. Our goal is to develop sufficient funds to generate income that will cover most of the daily operating costs of the Heritage Center. Funds that are donated to the legacy giving endowment will go into a special account, and the principal will not be spent. Every donation, small and large is greatly appreciated, but a legacy gift to the endowment fund will help to accomplish the long-term vision and goals which are our foundation—perpetuation of knowledge, appreciation and protection of Lāna‘iʻs cultural and natural landscape, and to foster community stewardship for our diverse history.
Including the Lāna‘i Culture & Heritage Center in your will or trust, or as a beneficiary of your retirement account or insurance policy, shares your love for the rich cultural and natural history of Lāna‘i, and sponsors programs that pass your love and history on to future generations. Your donation supports protection of artifacts and community memorabilia collections, enables us to operate the heritage center as a place where residents and visitors can explore the diverse history of Lāna ‘i — including our Hawaiian lore, ranching and plantation era history, photos, the collection of oral history interviews and historical documents, and sponsors special field programs for students of all ages.
Have you been wondering what to do with some of your free time?
E ho‘ohanohano ‘ana i ka wā ma mua, a e ho‘olako ‘ana i ka mua aku!
(Honoring the Past, Enriching the Future!)
The vision and mission of the Lāna‘i Culture & Heritage Center (Lāna‘i CHC) includes, but is not limited to the collection, preservation and display artifacts of traditional, cultural, historical and artistic value to the people and island of Lāna‘i—representative of Lāna‘i’s Hawaiian culture, ranching era, diverse populations who built the pineapple plantation and community on the island, and natural history.
Our collections are housed, curated, and displayed in a community heritage center managed and operated by the Lāna‘i Culture & Heritage Center, in partnership with community and charitable organizations, Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum and other archival facilities in the State of Hawai‘i.
Our programs seek to educate and cultivate interest and knowledge in the history, folklore, culture, customs and practices of Lāna‘i. Identify and recommend cultural and natural landscapes and archaeological sites of historical importance and interest to Lāna‘i for preservation, and to determine levels of access and interpretation. Study and promote awareness of the unique environment and ecosystems of Lāna‘i. Develop programs to ensure preservation of the island's endemic and indigenous life forms. Our goal is to provide long-time island families, youth, new residents, visitors, business interests and all interested parties with a sense of place and cultural attachment to the unique cultural and natural histories of Lāna‘i. In so doing, together, we will foster an environment that will cherish the heritage of Lāna‘i and its people.
Through the portals of this website visitors are provided with access to Lāna‘i’s history through thousands of historical records (documentary resources are being added regularly). The site includes narratives penned in Hawaiian and English describing all facets of Lāna‘i's history, as well photographs, maps, and information covering nearly 1,000 years of residency on the island.
Families with generational ties to Lāna‘i, residents of Lāna‘i, researchers, and individuals who are planning to visit Lāna‘i will find a wealth of information attached to this site. For people with ties to traditional and historic residents of Lāna‘i, a search through the records may provide you with information about your family and life in days gone by. For researchers, detailed records of place—residency, land tenure, business initiatives, changes in the natural environment, and past conservation efforts—may be found. And for people who are planning a visit to Lāna‘i, you will find interesting notes on places and customs, and tools for planning a visit to a number of the cultural and historical sites on the island. The digital library of this website provides visitors with access to a wide range of primary source documentation on Lāna‘i’s history.
Visitors at the Lāna‘i Culture & Heritage Center.
In the late 1980s, the owner of the island at that time began to engage in development on Lāna‘i. The families of the island were concerned that their storied landscape and history would be lost, and they envisioned a place where the history of their island home would be gathered. The idea was to collect a wide range of materials, and develop a place where artifacts and historic memorabilia (photos, papers and textiles), and the stories of our island families would be cared for and passed on to future generations. In 2007 the Lāna‘i Culture & Heritage Center was organized in consultation with kūpuna (elders) and island residents as a non-profit charitable organization. In 2010 the center opened a climate controlled display and archive center in the historic Dole Plantation Administration Building. This facility serves as a hub connecting people with traditions, history, land, and the material culture of Lāna‘i. Since opening in late 2007, more than 65,000 people (island residents and guests) have visited Lāna‘i CHC and participated in programs. Our work has been made possible through the support of community members, island guests, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the Agape Foundation, the US DOE-Native Hawaiian Education Act, and many individuals who make financial and volunteer contributions to the center.
All financial donations are gratefully acknowledged and tax deductible. All archival collections are cataloged, and recorded in association with the donors and families, and add to our ability to share Lāna‘i's diverse history with the world. Support of the Lāna‘i Culture & Heritage Center helps us protect our valued collection of artifacts and historical resources and enables us to pass Lāna‘i’s natural & cultural heritage on to present and future generations.