Hawaii’s Plantation Village showcases the restored living quarters of the sugar cane workers who worked on Oahu’s last sugar mill. Laborers came from all over: China, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Portugal and Puerto Rico. Many of the buildings that housed the workers are on display, complete with furniture pieces, articles of everyday living and other artifacts. It’s very interesting to see how differently the ethnic groups set up their homes. Despite the sugar mill’s deliberate strategy to segregate the communities, much intermingling and sharing of food took place, which might be a clue to explain what evolved into island cuisine. Plants, trees and vegetables important to the diets of each group are also on the grounds.
The association trying to keep the village on-going is obviously having a difficult time, despite some government help to pay for restoration. Much vandalism and theft continue to take place.
Volunteer docents lead very informative tours. Depending on the interests of the visitors, they can last upward of 2 hours or more, like ours did. Our guide Amy (who works only on Thursdays) led a fun and fact-filled tour. Having grown up in the area, she recalls things that happened when she was a child.
Hawaii’s Plantation Village is a must-see.
|Hawaii’s Plantation Village
94-695 Waipahu Street
Waipahu, HI 96797