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Native Hawaiian family reunion brings hundreds together to connect and research genealogy

Kaʻuaua ʻOhana reunion in Kahaluʻu on July 15, 2022.
Catherine Cruz
Kaʻuaua ʻOhana reunion in Kahaluʻu on July 15, 2022.

Members of the Kaʻuaua ʻOhana gathered for a two-day reunion in Kahaluʻu on Oʻahu in July. Family members recalled a time at one gathering that drew thousands of people to Oʻahu’s west side. The family has roots on all islands and moves the gathering every couple of years. It is believed to be the only Hawaiian ʻohana that has formed a 501(c)(3) — a nonprofit organization. It traces its line to Liholiho and focuses on five descendants, five main branches.

The Conversation spoke with Carmen Haugen, who was born on Maui and learned about the family tree at a reunion there, and Paula Jorgensen, who says the ʻohana really got going on their research in the 1970s. Jorgensen sits on the genealogy committee that helps plan the event. One kupuna, Lovey Nabalta, joked about how she initially pushed back on this genealogy hobby that her mother was addicted to.

This interview aired on The Conversation on July 29, 2022. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1.

Catherine Cruz is the host of The Conversation. Originally from Guam, she spent more than 30 years at KITV, covering beats from government to education. Contact her at ccruz@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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