More on the “separating disease”, 1889.

Leaving the Bosom of the Parent and the Homeland.

I left my parent and the land of my birth in the famed cliffs in the mists of Honokohau, West Maui, and my path turned toward Honolulu, then I was sent away to Kalawao, with “That one there has leprosy.”

I was born in Honokohau, Maui, in the month of September, on the 12th, 1867; by Sam. L. Kalaola and Mrs. Keolamahunehune Kamoku Kalaola; and therefore, that is the land of my birth, and for that land is this pikake lei which I love:

O land of my birth,
My beloved land,
I aloha
Your beaches,
The uplands,
The ever green fields.

I was raised at Honokohau until older, and when I turned 6, I was sent by my parents to go to school, and A. W. Kanahi was my teacher; and to all of you my friends who suffered in the pursuit of education goes my aloha nui, and this maile lei which i wear:

Aloha to you my friends,
My classmates
It is time for me to go
Aloha nui
I will go singing
Put aside the lamentations
Aloha nui
Aloha to the fields
The ridges
My dear school house
Aloha nui
I will be leaving for somewhere else
With you always will be my appreciation
Aloha nui.

When I became 12 or so, at that school, I gained some knowledge; after that, I was sent to the English school at Kaluaaha, and later was sent back to the first school which I attended, and here I stayed until I became old; and in the year 1887, I returned to Kahikinui and my hands became deformed, and on a day in this past September, my father was ordered by the deputy marshal of Lahaina to take me to be sent to Honolulu, and from Honolulu to Kalawao.

My father assented in accordance with his occupation as a policeman of district of Lahaina, but not happily, but with bad feelings, left without aloha and without friends, but it was the right thing to do, for this was a person who contracted the disease, the disease called “the family separating disease;” and for this disease is this ahihi lei:

You go to Kalawao
You have the “Chinese disease”
The disease hated by the people
The brown-skinned and the white-skinned.
Your companions change
Before there were many times together
And you were with me, and I with you
One bite and we are severed.

On Friday evening, my father returned from Lahaina and told me the news about me going to Kalawao, and he said to me his last thoughts, saying with words of grief, “You go, stand tall, go to this place where the law of the land has set aside for those who contract this disease; this year God has put me in much difficulties, but don’t forget my words to you, and these are they: don’t forget God, our God who mad the ocean, the cliffs, the rain, the heat of the sun, and so forth.”

I went on Saturday, but there was no ship, and I returned. On Thursday of the next week, there again was no boat, and I waited in Lahaina for a boat; and at 9 at night on Saturday, I boarded the steamship Iwalani, and for this ship is this mele of affection:

The Iwalani turns back
To see the calm of Kona
We are outside of Kailua
Where the Wiliahiu wind blows
One push and we are in Honolulu
And I am at the hospital in Kalihi.

There are three of us from the same place, and at 6 in the morning on Sunday, we reached the landing at Ainahou. The officer was there, and were were taken to Kalakaua Hale and from there to Kalihi. We stayed there for a week and went immediately to Kalawao. And we now live in this friendless land, the land set apart for us, the grave for our bodies.

Here I will conclude my travels, and to the Editor my farewell, and to the metal typesetting boys my good bye.


Miss Sam. L. K. Kalaola.

Kalawao, Molokai.

[Don’t forget if you are free this evening, and on Oahu nei, there is this presentation at Native Books!]

(Kuokoa, 10/26/1889, p. 4)


Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke XXVIII, Helu 43, Aoao 4. Okatoba 26, 1889.

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