Separating Sickness

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Oral history -- interviews with exiled leprosy patients at Kalaupapa, Molokai, Hawaii. Patients tell about having bounties placed on them, being captured, quarantined and imprisoned for life as leprosy patients. Published for the Ma'i Ho'ok'awale Foundation.

Thousands of persons with leprosy were sent to die at Kalaupapa, Molokai. Kalaupapa operated as a leprosarium (actually a prison) for 103 years, from 1886 to 1969. It is the place where the Catholic Priest Father Damien came to serve the patients. He resided at Kalaupapa from 1873 to 1889. In 1889 he also succumbed to the disease. Very old patients still reside at Kalaupapa. Today, Kalaupapa has been preserved as a U.S. National Park, because of it's natural beauty, and to document the tragic events that took place there.

The book The Separating Sickness is an oral history. It was researched and published for the first time in the mid 1970s. In the pages of the book, old patients document their lives for future generations to read about. Most of those interviewed, have passed away. Nevertheless, they share their haunting experiences with us and ask us why society treated them in such a brutal and inhumane way? -- Their lives remind us that Hawaii's history is not all bright and sunny.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780965397100
  • Publisher: Anoai Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/1996
  • Edition description: New Edition

Meet the Author

About the Authors

Ted Gugelyk and Milton Bloombaum are retired sociologists from the University of Hawaii.

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