Mission: To Empower Community Voices and Enrich the Historical Perspectives of Kohala.
The Kohala Oral History Project is dedicated to engaging our community, shedding light on our past, and fostering the belief that every individual shapes history. By intertwining personal narratives with historical context, we bridge the gap between individual experiences and communal history, deepening the Kohala community's appreciation for the diverse cultures and individuals that have contributed to our collective identity. Through the creation of dynamic oral history videos, we weave together a vibrant tapestry of Kohala's past and present, capturing the essence of our heritage through the voices of our people. These poignant chronicles will remain as a living testament to our community’s vibrancy and resiliency, and fosters a shared connection that transcends time and place. As we listen, learn, and share, both locals and visitors are invited to partake in a journey of cultural understanding and empathy, fostering a more profound connection with the myriad stories that compose the heart of Kohala.
The project began in December 2019 when Lucas Manuel-Scheibe recorded on video the stories of his 80-year-old grandmother, Martina Manuel, a long-time resident of Kohala. Together with his mother, Jocelyn Manuel, who was born and raised in Kohala, Lucas set out to film “old timers” sharing their stories about plantation life and living in Kohala. Lucas and Jocelyn continued capturing stories at the Kohala Reunion during the July 4, 2022 weekend. The project has garnered enthusiastic support and interest from members of the community.
To date, the project has:
Recorded the stories of 24 individuals from Kohala, including notable community members such as Fred Cachola, Kealoha Sugiyama, David Fuertes, and Jeff Coakley. Videos are currently being edited.
Partnered with Hawai’i Community College art and film students, to complete the editing of the videos captured thus far.
Received fiscal sponsorship from the North Kohala Community Resource Center, to enable the project to seek donations and funding.
Screened This is Kohala, a 30 minute film of excerpts from the oral history interviews:
July 5, 2023 - At the Kohala Night Market - 120 attendees
July 22, 2023 - In Oakland, California - 30 attendees
The project is planning the following:
Applying for public and private grants to continue the project.
Continuing to develop this webpage to post the completed videos.
Seeking partnerships with Kohala and Big Island community groups to continue the project in some way.