Kalaupapa National Historical Park tells stories. It tells the history of Hawaii’s past as well as the stories of those who suffered from Hansen’s disease and were banished to this corner of the island. The area serves as a reminder of a time when people didn’t know how to treat this disease and people were uprooted and forced to move away from home. It is a place where people can come to learn about the past or to reconnect with family that were “lost.”

While the area of the park is mainly remembered for the Hansen’s disease patients, it is home to a plethora of archeological evidence of Hawaii’s past. The minimal usage of the area due to the patients has led to well preserved archeological specimens. Archeologists have been able to gain insight into the human story of life on Molokai’s north shore in pre-contact, historic, and modern times. Artifacts within walls tell multiple stories at the individual locations. Archeologists have found poi pounders, historic bathroom fixtures, historic bottles, and gaming stones (ulu mica) all in the same wall. The multiple use of features has established an interesting layered, or multi-component archeology.

For more information about Kalaupapa National Historical Park, visit its website. For more information about archeology in the park, check out this report.