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Communities

Explore the oral histories below or browse the entire Communities archive at ScholarSpace.


Interviewee Stanley Mendes sits on porch of his plantation house, Honoka‘a, Hawai‘i, 1996. (COH photo.)
Interviewee Stanley Mendes sits on porch of his plantation house, Honoka‘a, Hawai‘i, 1996. (COH photo.)

The Closing of Sugar Plantations: Interviews with Families of Hamakua and Kaʻu, Hawaiʻi

These are life history interviews conducted with displaced Hamakua Sugar Company and Ka‘u Agribusiness Company workers and their families. The workers or their spouses were surveyed earlier for a Center on the Family research project on job loss. August 1997, 598 pages, 2 volumes, photographs.

Kalihi Valley barefoot football league champions, 130-lb. class, 1944. (Photo courtesy Tokio Okudara.)
Kalihi Valley barefoot football league champions, 130-lb. class, 1944. (Photo courtesy Tokio Okudara.)

Kalihi: Place of Transition

In this community-focused project, long-time residents talk about their experiences in Kalihi, a multi-ethnic working-class area of O‘ahu. June 1984, 1120 pages, 3 volumes, photographs.

Labrador family at Stable Camp, Koloa, ca. 1935. Andres Labrador was responsible for the care of horses and mules used on the plantation. (Photo courtesy Andres Labrador.)
Labrador family at Stable Camp, Koloa, ca. 1935. Andres Labrador was responsible for the care of horses and mules used on the plantation. (Photo courtesy Andres Labrador.)

Koloa: An Oral History of a Kaua‘i Community

Thirty-three residents describe life, past and present, in Koloa, the site of the first commercial sugar plantation in Hawai‘i. September 1988, 1518 pages, 3 volumes, photographs.

Herding sheep on Charles Gay’s ranch, Ko‘ele, early 1900s. Gay also kept cattle, horses, mules, and goats. (Photo courtesy Violet Gay.)
Herding sheep on Charles Gay’s ranch, Ko‘ele, early 1900s. Gay also kept cattle, horses, mules, and goats. (Photo courtesy Violet Gay.)

Lana‘i Ranch: The People of Ko‘ele and Keomuku

Detailed descriptions of the daily lives of cowboys, their spouses and children, and other ranch residents. July 1989, 934 pages, 2 volumes, photographs.

Pioneer Mill, Lahaina, Maui, 2003. (COH photo.)
Pioneer Mill, Lahaina, Maui, 2003. (COH photo.)

Pioneer Mill Company: A Maui Sugar Plantation Legacy

Eighteen former workers and residents of Pioneer Mill Company on Maui comment on such topics as childhood activities, family dynamics, camp housing, plantation employment, and union and community involvement. Also discussed are the decline of the sugar plantation and the closing of Pioneer Mill Company. December 2003, 508 pages, 1 volume, photographs.

Interisland Play Day at Palama Settlement, 1938. (Palama Settlement Archives photo.)
Interisland Play Day at Palama Settlement, 1938. (Palama Settlement Archives photo.)

Reflections of Palama Settlement

Twenty-nine individuals recall their life experiences and articulate the significance the Palama Settlement has had for themselves, Palama residents, and others. August 1998, 852 pages, 2 volumes, photographs.

Kaka‘ako Taxi Stand, ca. 1920. (Photo courtesy Yuri Ishibashi.)
Kaka‘ako Taxi Stand, ca. 1920. (Photo courtesy Yuri Ishibashi.)

Remembering Kaka‘ako: 1910–1950

A controversial area undergoing redevelopment, Kaka‘ako was once known as the toughest district in Honolulu. Twenty-six former residents discuss sports, community organizations, and the old neighborhood as it was when Kaka‘ako was home to 5,000 of the city's working class. December 1978, 1252 pages, 2 volumes, photographs.

·       Remembering Kaka‘ako: 1910–1950 full transcripts on Scholarspace

·       Remembering Kakaʻako: 1910-1950 audio (cassette) at UH system libraries

Children with child-sized versions of baskets used for picking coffee, ca. 1960s. (Photo courtesy Isabelo Sebastian.)
Children with child-sized versions of baskets used for picking coffee, ca. 1960s. (Photo courtesy Isabelo Sebastian.)

A Social History of Kona

The changing lifestyles of Kona (at one time the largest community in Hawai‘i outside of the sugar plantation system, and the only area in the United States to grow coffee commercially for over 100 years) are documented. June 1981, 1727 pages, 2 volumes, photographs. Slide/tape show on videotape available.

‘Ualapu‘e Fishpond, Moloka‘i, 1988. (Photo courtesy Marine Option Program, University of Hawai‘i. Photo by Keith Bigelow.)
‘Ualapu‘e Fishpond, Moloka‘i, 1988. (Photo courtesy Marine Option Program, University of Hawai‘i. Photo by Keith Bigelow.)

‘Ualapu‘e, Moloka‘i: Oral Histories from the East End

Thirteen interviewees talk about the ‘Ualapu‘e Fishpond project, the historical and cultural role of fishponds, and everyday life on East End, Moloka‘i. June 1991, 576 pages, 2 volumes, photographs.

Waialua plantation locomotive crew, ca. 1930s. Sugar cane was loaded in railroad cars and hauled to the mill. (Photo courtesy of Adam Holmberg.)
Waialua plantation locomotive crew, ca. 1930s. Sugar cane was loaded in railroad cars and hauled to the mill. (Photo courtesy of Adam Holmberg.)

Waialua and Hale‘iwa: The People Tell Their Story

The histories of Waialua, one of O‘ahu's few remaining sugar plantations, and Hale‘iwa, a neighboring town, as told by Caucasian, Chinese, Filipino, Hawaiian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, and Puerto Rican senior citizens. May 1977, 1880 pages, 9 volumes. Slide/tape show on videotape available.

Interviewee Minoru Aoki stands in Hamohamo Stream (no longer in existence) with surfboard, Waikiki, ca. 1920s. (Photo courtesy Minoru Aoki.)
Interviewee Minoru Aoki stands in Hamohamo Stream (no longer in existence) with surfboard, Waikiki, ca. 1920s. (Photo courtesy Minoru Aoki.)

Waikiki, 1910–1985: Oral Histories

Study of a community's transformation from taro fields, duck ponds, and bungalows to nightclubs, curio shops, and towering hotels, as observed by fifty long-time residents, workers, and business operators. June 1985, 1999 pages, 3 volumes, photographs.

Taro patch in Waipi‘o Valley, 1978. In pre-Captain Cook times, taro played a vital role in Hawaiian culture. It was not only the Hawaiians’ staple food but also the source of many myths. (COH photo.)
Taro patch in Waipi‘o Valley, 1978. In pre-Captain Cook times, taro played a vital role in Hawaiian culture. It was not only the Hawaiians’ staple food but also the source of many myths. (COH photo.)

Waipi‘o: Mano Wai (Source of Life)

Old-timers recall taro farming and daily life in this remote Big Island valley and talk about the many changes that occurred in the first half of the century. Young residents and old discuss their visions for the future of Waipi‘o and taro. December 1978, 1335 pages, 2 volumes, photographs. Slide/tape show on videotape available.