Why is the kalo significant to you? My mother had about 6-7 taro patches in her back yard each connected by a ditch. The ditch provided water from a generator via PVC pipes from the mountain. The generator was in a shed that provided electricity to operate the washing machine and freezer. In the first patch, there were watercress near by then followed by kalo. I watched my mother then jumped in to do it myself. She spoke of the importance of this plant not only gave life to our po'e; it has a ho'oilina that was told for generations of it's origin and so forth. Although my 'ohana live on O'ahu, we still keep our memories of learning and understanding the kalo, when to grew and harvest it. We buy it in the store now...How odd but true! Today, I observed my daughters pounding poi with uncle Charlie. The last time I saw him pounding poi was t my mother's hale on Moloka'i. More then a decade ago. I learned about kalo from him and why they fought for water in Waihole. Kalo is part of our ho'oilina and the source of life. It was nice to see such a great turnout!

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  • Depending on what account of our history you subscribe to, and there are a number of them, Hawaiians have basically been in these lands for the better part of 2,000 years. In that time, our ancestors developed a highly sophiticated society based on agragrian philosophies of resource management and sustainable land stewardship.

    In that time, unitl contact by Westerners, taro and fish supplied the brunt of the Hawaiian diet. Taro is the perfect starch; it is a hypoallergenic, it breaks down well in the system and, as stated in another post, it last for quite a while in many forms. The nutritional value of kalo is superior to nearly anything you will find, making, therefore, our ancestors some of the best fed people on the planet. Subsequently, our people were strong, active in their production, and concious of the elements that allowed for its health.

    Enter haole ways: processed fooods, a drastic change in the amount of meat we consume daily comparable only to the drastic fall of greens in the kanaka diet, fast food, drive thru's, soda, energy drinks, genetically modified/engineered foods, consumerist values and the deterioration of the Hawaiian people is quite obvious. These new foods have rotted us from the inside out causing every ailment found on the long list that Hawaiians dominate like diabetes, cancer or heart disease.

    To illustrate this type of dietary change I often employ the analogy of taking a stalk of huli and planting it in clean and healthy soil, watering it with fresh water everyday, giving it lots of sunlight and engaging with the kalo on a spiritual level (funny as it may sound in western thought but our kupuna had intimate relationships with their foods which included often having encouraging affirmations to offer the plant in conversation, prayer and/or oli). Then take another stalk of huli and plant it in rubbish, water it with coca cola, put it in your house next to the couch and let the television keep it company. The result parrallels the deteriorated state of the kanaka maoli in the 21st century.

    Haloa ke kalo, haloa ke kanaka. I was told by a well respected farmer that kalo is the gauge of the aina. The only reason it suffers is because the aina and the people suffer.

    Taro is in the genetic code of the Hawaiian people. The further we stray from it the more we will continue to suffer like fish out of water. It is our identity, our ancestor, our genealogy. Taro is the source for the people. That is why it is important.
  • Hawaiian Kalo like Hawaiian Aina and Hawaii belongs to Hawaiians, the Kanaka Maoli Hawaii. Keep Hawaiian Kalo, Aina and Hawaii in Hawaiian Hands, Long Live The Hawaiian Kingdom.
  • It is significant to me in many ways. It is a gift given to us by Haloa. It was na po'e main sourse of food. It could be stored away for our long journeys we use to take to our sister islands of Polynesia. =]
  • I think the significance, if not perpetually spiritual in origins, recieves signifigance by the mana the po'e give to the Kumulipo. As I understand it, and I consider myself only an initiate in the body of knowledge known as the Kumulipo, the Taro was the first offspring of Papa and Wakea. I believe the first born was stillborn, and was buried. Out of the fetus grew the Kalo. Thus, the kalo is our sibling, if, if only in the spirit. So, one could look at the kalo as a part of ones kuleana, if one is so inclined. Please, correct me if I got any parts wrong.

    BTW, FYI, if you live in the mainland, and right now is planting season, if you want to 'practice' culture, the Elephant Ears available at practically any walmart is a strain of Kalo, I'm pretty sure. I believe they are teh more resilient strain.

    Hmm, I should probably buy some roots and try pound em and see how taste ;p
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