Lānaʻi folks have always been deeply connected to the ʻāina. The land and sea provided both sustenance and recreation for Lānaʻi people, who understood they had responsibility to care for this place.
Listen to our stories
This virtual exhibit is the product of the ongoing digitization of our archival collections and features photographs that have never been on exhibit in our physical museum space. As you view the photos, we invite you to listen to stories of Dean Del Rosario (whose father is the photographer of many of the following photos), Albert Morita, and Diane Preza, who all grew up during the plantation days and are deeply rooted to Lānaʻi. While their experiences are their own, we believe many who grew up during this time will find their stories relevant and of value to the greater story of Lānaʻi's community.
Every one who has grown up on Lānaʻi has memories of swimming at Kaumālapaʻu Harbor with friends and family. This has been an activity enjoyed by Lānaʻi people throughout the years. While the breakwater and stairs have evolved over time, the harbor will always be a beloved place for Lānaʻi ʻohana.
Listen to Dean share about the Kaumālapaʻu:
Fishing & Diving
Lānaʻi people are ocean people. For many generations, local families have relied on the health and abundance of the sea to provide food for their ʻohana and community. Pictured here: Jimmy Low (left), Stacy Olsen (middle), Mario "Pinky" Dahang (right) with an ulua.
Listen to Diane share about the fishing and diving:
Mr. Ito (known at "Ito") was an employee of the Hawaiian Pineapple Company, but in his free time, he developed and cared for a beautiful garden across from his home on Queen's Street. He started small and gradually expanded the garden to include terraces and a variety of colorful flowers for all to enjoy.
Listen to Diane share about Ito's Garden:
Lānaʻi Field Trials
The Lānaʻi field trials were a competition to showcase the skills of hunting dogs. Live game birds were placed in ventilated boxes and hidden on the landscape, and the hunting dogs would locate and point to them, following the instructions of their owners and gaining points from the judges. Pictured in the front row are kamaʻāina of Lānaʻi: Lloyd Cockett (left), Sol Kaopuiki (middle), and Ernest Richardson (right).
Listen to Dean share about the field trials:
Activities in the Park
While this may look like an event in Dole Park, this photo was actually taken at the old baseball field where Hale Kupuna now resides. Community activities like this tug-o-war game would draw the participation of many residents who would come for the fun!
Listen to Dean share about activities in the park:
Ranch at Kōʻele
Ranching was the longest-run economic industry in modern times. Kōʻele served as the headquarters of the Lānaʻi Ranch and the hub of the island community long before Lānaʻi City existed. Though the ranch formally ended in 1951, Kōʻele families continued the paniolo tradition of horsemanship.
Listen to Albert share about Kōʻele:
Within the past century, hunting has become a favorite activity of many Lānaʻi folks. Lānaʻi hunters often hunt to not only to provide food for their families and friends but also to enjoy the Lānaʻi outdoors. Removal of these invasive ungulates (like axis deer and mouflon sheep) from our landscape is also a form of stewardship. Pictured here are: Richard Oshiro (left), "Joey" Morita (middle left), "CO" Oshiro (middle right), and Albert Morita (right, not narrator).
Listen to Albert share about hunting:
Spectators Enjoying a Game
Help us honor their legacy
Lānaʻi City has changed much over the past 100 years, but the values that emerged from the plantation community remain valuable. The shared experience of Lānaʻi people during the plantation days created the foundation of our local culture today. This virtual exhibit has been developed with the hope that people on Lānaʻi and beyond are inspired by the lives plantation people lived--vibrant lives that were so much more than just their work.
Our first ever virtual exhibit is part of the "Our Living History: Lānaʻi Digital Archive" project. We have diligently worked with our archivist to organize and continue digitization of our collections, and this exhibit is a product of our continued commitment to making our history accessible by all.
We hope this is just the beginning. If you have additional contextual information about the photos in this exhibit or your own Lānaʻi family photos to share, we invite you to reach out and join us in our journey to care for our island's rich history, culture, and values.