Na Moolelo Lecture Series

Iolani Palace invites you to join us at our new Na Moolelo Lecture Series. The lectures feature presentations by Hawaiian cultural experts, historians, and museum professionals that will prompt discussion of Hawaii history and culture as well as museum practices.

The free Na Moolelo Lecture series continues Iolani Palace mission to preserve and share Hawaii’s unique cultural and historical qualities with the community.

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The summer schedule for the Na Moolelo Lecture Series is as follows:

Wednesday, Aug. 22
Topic: Na Kilo Ao Māiki: Observing the microbial realm
Dr. Frank studies the smallest, most abundant and diverse forms of life in the ahupua‘a ecosystems and the role they play in shaping the functionality of that ‘āina. Though our kupuna could not physically see microorganisms, she believes they understood their presence, which is reflected within our moʻolelo, mele, oli and traditional management practices. By better understanding the microbial moʻokuauhau of our ʻāina – bridging cultural and historical knowledge with contemporary knowledge systems – we can begin to decode the insight left to us by our kupuna and better evaluate overall ecosystem health, inform current monitoring, and perpetuate the restoration, sustainability and resilience of our native ecosystems.

Speaker: Dr. Kiana Frank, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Pacific Biosciences Research Center

Kiana Frank - born and raised in Kailua Oʻahu - is an Assistant Professor in the Pacific Biosciences Research Center at the University of Hawaii, Mānoa. She studies the microbial dynamics of Hawaiian ecosystems as a mechanism to better understand the connectivity between land and sea, and to perpetuate place-based knowledge and ecological-based studies that foster values and concepts of traditional management. Her work integrates biology, geochemistry, and ʻike kupuna (traditional knowledge) to address novel hypothesis and showcase connections between contemporary western science and Native Hawaiian Science.

Wednesday, Aug. 29
Topic: The Restoration of Family Ties
This inspiring presentation tells how Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa has helped hundreds of descendants of Kalaupapa reconnect to their family members who were sent to Kalaupapa because of government policies regarding leprosy, now also called Hansen’s disease. The journeys of the families are shared in this narrated slide show of historical and modern-day photographs

Speaker: Valerie Monson, Executive Director, Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa
Valerie Monson is an award-winning journalist who began interviewing the people of Kalaupapa in 1989. She is a founding member of Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa and has been serving as Coordinator/Executive Director since 2008. She is also the co-author of “Ili Na Ho`omana`o o Kalaupapa: Casting Remembrances of Kalaupapa.”

All discussions will take place at 5:00 p.m. in the Kanaina Building on the Palace Grounds. Admission is free.

The free Nā Moʻolelo Lecture series continues Iolani Palace mission to preserve and share Hawaii’s unique cultural and historical qualities with the community.