Holier than Thou: Stigma and the Kokuas of the Kalaupapa Settlement

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Akira Oakaokalani Ruddle-Miyamoto
Ron Amundson


Damien, leprosy, Hansen’s Disease, Moloka’i, kokuas, Kalaupapa, stigmatization


This paper examines the intimate connection between stigmatization and concepts of race surrounding leprosy in 19th century Hawaii. This connection is revealed by consideration of the contrasting treatment of Father Damien and Native Hawaiian kokuas at the Moloka‘i settlement in the Western media. Demonstrating how prevailing prejudices affect stigmatization.  

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