© 2019 by Molokai Surf.

History of Hawaii's Molokai Island

May 6, 2017

Hawaii's history is one of exploration, natural phenomenons, and majestic beauty. Few islands have such in depth history as Hawaii, whose local population have lived there for thousands of year. To understand these islands, one must dive into the stories of each and every one of them. When it comes to our favorite, well that's obvious. Molokai (pronounced Moloka'i) is an island not many tourists talk about. We always hear Oahu, Maui, and the Big Island, but seldom to we ever hear about Molokai. But that's what makes this island so special. The lack of commercialization has made Molokai stand out among the rest of the islands as an untouched paradise. 

Molokai's history as an island begins similar to the history of all the other islands in the Hawaiian archipelago. It too has volcanoes that have shaped the island to what it is today. To be precise, Molokai has two extinct volcanoes, one called the Western Volcano and the other called the Eastern. Tourists would not expect to see any active volcanoes on the island (for the time being!). Nevertheless, the lava from these volcanoes have formed a rectangular island that is around 10 miles in width and 30 miles in length. Its geographic features are quite unparalleled to other islands. It has the highest sea cliffs, the deepest valleys, and the longest reef. You can discover the entire island in a matter of the day.

Settlers from presumably the islands of Marquesas settled in Molokai around 650 A.D. They built small houses made of stone for themselves that continue to be used today. In fact, life has not changed much on this unspoiled piece of heaven. The local population continues to fish, farm, and hunt like their ancestors have done for thousands of years. It is also believed that the famous hula dance comes from this island. One can also encounter a distinct feature of this forgotten past with fish ponds that are still being used by the local people. These ponds were created by their ancestors as a way of keeping fish in one spot to make it easier to catch them. They're found all over the island. Traces of the ancient Molokai people can also be found even in the most rugged of terrain. In the western half of the island, which is more rugged than the other half, ancient tombs have been found suggesting that the ancients have used the island to its fullest.  

Perhaps the most interesting part of the island is the fact that it used to be a leprosy colony. Leprosy was a disease quite common in the past and it causes severe, disfiguring skin sores and nerve damage in the arms, legs, and skin areas around the body. It's also contagious. As a result of a growing population suffering from this contagious disease, many were shipped to far away islands that isolated such individuals. These types of places became to be known as leper colonies and Molokai was one of the world's most famous.


Even though such the leper colony does not exist anymore, the tarnishing of this island's reputation as nothing more than a leper colony, few tourists have been willing to visit the island. This island, which was once considered a transitory hub for islanders moving across the archipelago is now somewhat of a "fly-over" island wherein many tourist fly over it without realizing the secluded beauty that's found there. However, in recent years the island has seen a boom in tourism. Tourists love the barren landscape of this island that has a population of a little over 7,000. It has become a getaway from the Hawaii's more popular destinations. 

We're happy to say that our company is named after this small and secluded paradise. 

 

 

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