Friday Morning Bookclub

June 17, 2010

Interesting Facts:This month’s book Moloka’i

Filed under: Historical Fiction,Moloka'i — susanbright @ 11:00 am

Moloka’i is the fifth largest of the Hawaiian islands, and is 38 miles long and 10 miles wide. Today it has a population of close to 8,000 people and approximately 75,000 people visit each year. It is often referred to as the Friendly Island. Moloka’i is a fish shaped island and is cut off from the rest of the world by the Pacific Ocean on one side and 1600 foot cliffs on the other. When Leprosy, known today as Hansen’s disease spread to Hawaii in the 1800’s the government set up a colony on the island in order to quarantine the affected people from the general population. The first victims, 9 men and 3 women were shipped to Moloka’i in  1866. There were no buildings of any kind at the time and the people lived in caves or shelters made out of sticks. In 1969, after a treatment for Leprosy was discovered, and the people were no longer considered a threat, the isolation policy was lifted and they were allowed to leave the island. Some of the people sent to Moloka’i are still alive today. They range in age from 60-90 and a select few have  chose to stay on the island as this was the only home they ever knew.

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2 Comments »

  1. What a small world, my brother owns land on Moloka’i. He is hoping to build a house there when he retires!!! Maybe we can visit him.

    Comment by Audrey — June 17, 2010 @ 1:28 pm | Reply

  2. I’d like to read this based on your review. Recently read “In the Sanctuary of Outcasts” which is about a leper colony/minimum security prison in Louisana. True story, very inspirational and facinating.

    Comment by GAYLE — August 16, 2010 @ 9:15 pm | Reply


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