Very Rare 1950's Molokai Hawaii Leper Settlement Carved Coconut - Signed Kenso
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Very Rare 1950's Molokai Hawaii Leper Settlement Carved Coconut - Signed Kenso:
VERY RARE 1950's Molokai Hawaii Leper Settlement CARVED COCONUT - Signed Kenso Seki
This is an IMPORTANT Museum Worthy object. This carved coconut is done by one of the most beloved settlers in Molokai's Kalaupapa Leper Colony, Kenso Seki! In the last image is a photo of Kenso Seki, taken by one of Hawaii's most famous photographers Wayne Levin.
- About Kenso Seki (Honolulu Star Bulletin):"Kenso Seki was a link in the history of his hometown, but he didn't dwell in the past. At age 88, he undertook a new adventure, playing a role in the “Father Damien” movie filmed this summer at Kalaupapa. Seki was present when the body of Father Damien DeVeuster was moved from his grave on the Molokai peninsula in 1936 for reburial in his Belgian homeland. He was one of two surviving patients who had lived in the original leprosy settlement at Kalawao, the peninsula's windy Eastern side where Damien served. When Seki was sent to Kalawao in 1928, Brother Joseph Dutton, a man who had helped Damien, was still working at the settlement. Seki died Saturday at the Kalaupapa Hospital. Funeral services and burial were held later the same day. “There was something about Kenso that whoever knows him, he touches their lives,” said head nurse Fe Austria- Schwind. “He was a happy-go-lucky man, nothing disturbed him. He never said bad words about anything, he was so positive about life, not worried about anything.” “It was a highlight of his life to be in the movie,” she said. Seki suffered a stroke the day after attending a “wrap party” thrown by the movie company at the end of filming. “For him, it had been a big event to be in this movie,” said co-producer Grietje Lammertyn of the Belgian movie company, who ate dinner with him at the party. “He had a speaking part, he was happy about that.” Long before the movie, Seki was delighted to point out his more real link to Damien, who arrived in Kalawao May 10, 1873, and died of leprosy 16 years later. Seki's birthday was May 10, a match made even more serendipitous when Pope John Paul II designated that date as Damien's feast day in the Catholic Church's liturgical calendar. Seki was one of six patients who participated in the July 1995 reburial of a relic, the bones of Damien's right hand, in the original Kalawao grave site following beatification of the missionary. The walls inside Seki's house are covered with pennants from hundreds of American, European and Asian cities, landmarks and visitor attractions. He collected them in numerous trips that he and his traveling companion, Ed Kato, who died earlier this year, took after mandatory isolation of Hansen's disease patients was ended in 1969. “Looking at him . . . sometimes he was reluctant at first because of his condition. But he thought why not, and then he got the bug to travel,” recalled Henry Nalaielua, president of the Patients' Council. “Kenso was a man of goodwill,” said Nalaielua. He said Seki worked as a truck driver at the settlement, and served as scoutmaster for several years for a younger generation of patients. Until recent years, his services as a barber were in demand. In recent years, all drivers in the small community were alert for the approach of Seki in his ancient pickup truck. Because of failing eyesight, he preferred to drive about 5 mph down the middle of the road. Sister Dativa Padilla, a Kalaupapa nurse, said Seki was the state's oldest altar server. Since his teen years, he assisted priests at daily Mass at St. Francis Church in Kalaupapa and on special occasions at the Kalawao church that Damien built, St. Philomena's. Seki was born on the Big Island. Like so many of the thousands of people banished because of the disease, he lost touch with his family after being taken away at age 12."
- About Kalaupapa Leper Colony, Hawaii (Wikipedia):"The village is the site of a former settlement forleprosypatients. The originalleper colonywas first established inKalawaoin the east, opposite to the village corner of the peninsula. It was there whereFather Damiensettled 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 byMother 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 byKing Kamehameha Vand 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.The colony is now part ofKalaupapa 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 entertainerDon Hoand 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."
- 8 1/2" x 9" inches
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