Planting Kalo

Oil on canvas 16x20


The life of Kanaka Maoli, the indigenous Hawai`i people, is linked closely with kalo, also known as the taro plant. Kalo is believed to have the greatest life force of all foods. According to the Kumulipo, the creation chant, kalo grew from the first-born son of Wakea (sky father) and Papa (earth mother), through Wakea's relationship with his and Papa's daughter, Ho`ohokulani. Haloa-naka, as the son was named, was stillborn and buried. Out of his body grew the kalo plant, also called Haloa, which means everlasting breath. Kalo and poi (pounded kalo) are a means of survival for the Hawai`i people. By eating kalo as poi, one at a time as a ritual around the poi bowl (`umeke) at the center of the guests, the protocol of Hawai`i is maintained. This is a ceremony of life that brings people together and supports a relationship of `ohana (family) and of appreciation with the `aumakua (ancestors).







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