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“Kalaupapa used to be a devilʼs island, a gateway to hell, worse than a prison. Today it is a gateway to heaven. There is spirituality to the place. All the sufferings of those whose blood has touched the land – the effect is so powerful even the rain cannot wash it away”
The song “Eia a‘e o Damiana” was sung to Father Damien by the boys of Kalawao, around 1879 -1880′s. Ambrose Hutchison, one of Father Damien’s closest friends, recalled: “ the boys turn out with their instruments and station themselves in front of Father Damien’s house. The playing of a lively tune on their tin flutes, steel, bones and drums break out on the silent morning air. Father Damien appears on the upper verandah of his house. At the sound of his voice, the boys ceased playing on their instruments and the beautiful contralto voice of a youth by the name of Pākē, the leading soloist of the church choir, rings out clear like a soaring lark songster on the still morning air.” According to the Kalaupapa admission registers, Pākē was a 14-year-old Hawaiian youth from Honolulu who was sent to Kalawao on June 10, 1877.
Valerie Monson, a close friend of Bernard Punikai‘a brought the song to attention and suggested that he write music to accompany the words that Ambrose had written down. Their combined efforts insured that this song would not be lost to history. but enjoyed for many years to come. -Anwei Law 2011
Dennis Kamakahi-Leo, Haku Mele, Kī Hō‘alu, ‘ukulele
Stephen Inglis- Leo, Haku Mele, Kī Hō‘alu, Kīkā uila
Shawn Livingston Moseley- Strings, Organ
Recorded, Engineered, Mixed and Mastered by
Shawn Livingston Moseley at Soulsound He‘eia, HI
Executive Producer ‘Aumakua Records
Produced by Dennis Kamakahi and Stephen Inglis.
Associate Producer: Shawn Livingston Moseley
Photography & Graphic Design by Marlowe Holt www.marloweholt.com
Images Copyright Marlowe Holt 2011
Back Cover & Liner notes Photos: Henry Law