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Molokaʻi satellite image
Molokaʻi satellite image
Waters Pacific Ocean
Archipelago Hawaii
Geographical location 21 ° 8 ′  N , 157 ° 2 ′  W Coordinates: 21 ° 8 ′  N , 157 ° 2 ′  W
Location of Molokaʻi
length 60 km
width 16 km
surface 673.4 km²
Highest elevation Mauna Kamakou
1512  m
Residents 7345 (2010)
11 inhabitants / km²
main place Kaunakakai
The entrance to the Hālawa Valley
The entrance to the Hālawa Valley

Molokaʻi ( German mostly Molokai ), also known as The friendly island , is one of the eight volcanic Hawaiian main islands. It has 7,345 inhabitants (as of 2010). It is the only Hawaiian island that belongs to two counties, Maui County and the small Kalawao County . The largest place is Kaunakakai on the south coast with 3425 inhabitants (as of 2010).

The island lives from growing watermelons and seeds. Agriculture should continue to form the economic basis.

On Molokaʻi you can find the birthplace of the Hula goddess Laka , every year on Molokaʻi the birth of the Hula is celebrated on the third weekend in May .

Moloka'i is often called the most Hawaiian island , previously also called the "forgotten island", as it is sparsely populated, largely untouched and largely spared from mass tourism. The population tries to curb tourism and to restrict it to the west coast, but this hinders the creation of jobs. Molokaʻi had the highest unemployment rate in Hawaii in 2017. As early as 2003, 56% of the population were living below the poverty line set by the federal government. The greatest fear of the residents is that their island will be bought up by a billionaire, as happened with the neighboring island of Lānaʻi .


Leper colony on Molokaʻi in 1907

In 1795, King Kamehameha I subdued the island in a bloody battle. In later years the islanders had to work hard for the king to fell the sandalwood forests and then transport them onto the ships.

The first Europeans to set foot on Molokaʻi were led by Captain George Dixon in 1786. In 1832 the first permanent missionary station was established.

Molokaʻi was also known for its sugar factory, which a German immigrant, Rudolph Wilhelm Meyer , who came to the island in 1850, opened in 1878. Through his marriage to the chief Kalama Waha, with whom he had eleven children, Meyer was able to influence the recent history of the island and grow sugar cane, potatoes, wheat, corn and coffee. In collaboration with King Kamehameha V, he administered his Molokai Ranch lands.

In 1866 the remote Kalaupapa peninsula was declared a quarantine station for lepers. This area, difficult to reach from the rest of the island, later formed Kalawao County . The Belgian missionary Father Damian de Veuster took care of the outcasts until he died of leprosy himself in 1889 . The missionary, who was canonized in 2009, is still venerated by locals today.

The then 52-year-old Polynesian Keanu also died on the island of a fatal leprosy infection by the German-English dermatologist Eduard Arning . Arning had infected Keanu on September 28, 1884 in order to provide evidence of the infection, which he had already succeeded in animal experiments, in healthy people.

On May 22, 1889, the Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson visited the leprosy station and wrote about it in a letter to his wife. 18 years later, the American writer Jack London did the same .

By big grandma Kaili'ohe Kama'ekua (1816-1931) from the island of Moloka'i descriptions have been given from the everyday life of the ancient Hawaiians. She was given the honorary name Kiha Wahine Lulu o na Moku ("Blessed / Holy Woman - Guardian of the Islands") from the local prophetess Makaweliweli .

Port facilities and the old sugar cane factory, which has been converted into a museum, bear witness to recent history.


Molokaʻi cliffs

The number of tourists on Moloka'i is relatively small. In 2015 around 65,000 visitors came to the island. After the ferry service between Molokaʻi and Maui was discontinued at the end of October 2016, an even lower number can now be expected. On the south coast, the sea is very calm and shallow due to an offshore reef. On the east coast, along Highway 450, you will find beautiful bathing bays that are also suitable for snorkeling. The most beautiful beaches are in the west of Moloka'i, including Kawakiu Beach and Papohaku Beach, but here the waves and currents are very strong. The "Molokaʻi Express", which runs between Molokaʻi and Oʻahu , is one of the strongest ocean currents and is notorious among water sports enthusiasts. A Molokai Ranch Wildlife Park Safari is offered near Maunaloa, in the west of the island, in a park where African and Far Eastern animal species are bred . The Molokaʻi Forest Reserve can be explored by foot or 4x4, and the Main Forest Road leads to Mt. Kamakou, 1,512 m high, and Waikolu Lookout, 1,000 m high. The Hālawa Valley can be reached via Highway 450. A short hiking trail leads through the green valley to the 75 m high Moaula Falls. A four-hour tour through the old leper colony shows the life and work of the famous missionary Father Damian de Veuster.

Molokai Ranch

The Molokai Ranch makes up with its 225 km² 35% of the area of ​​Moloka'i and was the largest employer on the island until it was largely closed in 2008. The two hotels and the 18-hole golf course on the property were also affected by the closure. As a result, the number of visitors on the Maui ferry plummeted by 25%. The owner company, Guoco Leisure Ltd, justified the closure with protests by the population against the company's plans to develop 200 parcels of real estate at Laau Point on the southwestern tip of Moloka'i. In 2014 cattle breeding was resumed, but the hotels and the golf course remained closed. In September 2017, the Molokai ranch went up for sale for $ 260 million.

Web links

Commons : Molokaʻi  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. United States Census Bureau.Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  2. ^ Colleen Uechi: Molokai unemployment office to be unstaffed ., January 31, 2017, accessed July 10, 2017.
  3. ^ Molokai Community Health Center . Retrieved July 10, 2017.
  4. Chelsea Davis: Residents stop a billionaire, his luxury yacht from visiting Molokai Hawaii News Now, November 25, 2017, accessed November 27, 2017.
  5. ^ The History of Molokai . Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  6. Marie D. Strazar: Molokai in History . Honolulu 2000, accessed July 8, 2017 (PDF; 682 kB).
  7. ^ Peter T Young: Meyer Sugar . July 22, 2013. Retrieved July 9, 2017.
  8. Jack London: The Lepers of Molokai . In: Woman's Home Companion . January 1908.
  9. Pali Jae Lee, Koko Willis: Tales from the Night Rainbow . Honolulu, Hawaii, ISBN 0-9628030-0-6 .
  10. Hawaii Tourism Authority: 2016 Annual Report to the Hawai'i State Legislature . Retrieved June 16, 2017 (PDF; 9.9 MB).
  11. ^ Molokai ferry ends service this month . Honolulu Star Advertiser, October 21, 2016, accessed June 16, 2017.
  12. ^ Molokai economy feeling effects of ranch shutdown . August 11, 2008. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  13. Hawaii's Molokai Ranch on the market for $ 260M . Pacific Business News, September 7, 2017, accessed September 9, 2017.