Kalaupapa reflections abound in free exhibit

PUHI — “When we didn’t have any hope of going back to see our family again, one of the things I noticed in Kalaupapa was that the sustaining force, you might say, was religion,” Paul Harada said.

Harada was one of an estimated 8,000 individuals sent to this remote peninsula on Molokai because they were believed to have leprosy.

He is featured with many others and vignettes of life captured through the lens of Wayne Levin in an exhibit open to the public through noon Wednesday at the Kauai Community College One Stop Center.

“It’s amazing how, by looking and studying these photographs, you get a feel for the lifestyle of this place,” said Cammie Matsumoto, KCC spokeswoman. “The exhibit is captivating.”

The free exhibit is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays. Hosted by the KCC Hawaiian Studies Department, it includes a timeline of Kalaupapa residents and family members, past and present, with quotations from archival documents and oral history reviews.

The exhibit includes more than 100 photographs from Levin, who started taking pictures of the landscape of Kalaupapa in 1984.

The show on Kauai is the first of a statewide tour.

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