Kalaupapa, Hawaii

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Kalaupapa
Unincorporated community
Most of the village of Kalaupapa as seen from an airplane. This photo also includes a section of the sea cliffs that form a natural barrier between the Kalaupapa Peninsula and "Topside" Molokai.
Most of the village of Kalaupapa as seen from an airplane. This photo also includes a section of the sea cliffs that form a natural barrier between the Kalaupapa Peninsula and "Topside" Molokai.
Coordinates: 21°9′9″N 156°55′26″W / 21.15250°N 156.92389°W / 21.15250; -156.92389Coordinates: 21°9′9″N 156°55′26″W / 21.15250°N 156.92389°W / 21.15250; -156.92389
Country United States
State Hawaii
County Kalawao
Elevation 66 ft (20 m)
Population (2000)
 • Total 122
Time zone Hawaii-Aleutian (UTC-10)
ZIP codes 96742
GNIS feature ID 360095[1]
Kalaupapa postmark
Kalaupapa Peninsula as seen from a descent down the sea cliffs

Kalaupapa[2] is a small unincorporated community on the island of Molokai in the U.S. state of Hawaii, within Kalawao County. They have an active post office[3] with a zip code of 96742.[4]

The village is located on the Kalaupapa Peninsula at the base of some of the highest sea cliffs in the world, dropping over 2,000 feet (610 m) to the Pacific Ocean.

Leprosy settlement[edit]

The village is the site of a former settlement for leprosy patients. The original leper colony was first established in Kalawao in the east, opposite to the village corner of the peninsula. It was there where Father Damien settled in 1873. Later it was moved to the location of the current village, which was originally a Hawaiian fishing village. The settlement was also attended by Mother Marianne Cope, among others. At its peak, about 1,200 men, women, and children were in exile in this island prison. The isolation law was enacted by King Kamehameha V and remained in effect until 1969, when it was finally repealed. Today, about fourteen former sufferers of leprosy (which is also known as Hansen's Disease) continue to live there.[5] The colony is now part of Kalaupapa National Historical Park.

Shortly before the end of mandatory isolation in 1969, the state legislature considered closing the facility entirely. Intervention by interested persons, such as entertainer Don Ho and TV newsman Don Picken, resulted in allowing the residents to remain there for life. The opponents to closure pointed out that, although there were no active cases of leprosy in existence, many of the residents were physically scarred by the disease to an extent which would make their integration into mainstream society difficult if not impossible.

References[edit]

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External links[edit]

Media related to Kalaupapa, Hawaii at Wikimedia Commons