Join us on Tuesday, January 24 when we will visit Ka Papa Loʻi o Kānewai in beautiful Mānoa Valley, a native Hawaiian taro farming community co-located with the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Participants will tour the Kānewai site, seeing the stream, irrigation systems, and the taro patches, then work in the patches to participate in maintenance, planting, and harvesting activities. Please wear clothes that can be muddied or discarded; you will get extremely dirty.
At the taro patch, or loʻi, participants will learn about traditional Hawaiian farming practice, language, and culture, framed by the three Hawaiian values of laulima (many hands working together), mālama (caring for the land), and puʻuhonua (a sanctuary for all plants, animals, and people). This site is a center for Hawaiian knowledge and practice, focused around a traditional hālau (canoe house) for education, a system of auwai for irrigation, and various loʻi, (taro patches) for agriculture and raising food.
Getting There: Transportation will be provided by The Bus to and from the site. Participants should meet at the designated departure point at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort and Spa at 8:45 am for departure to Ka Papa Loʻi o Kānewai. Participants should plan to arrive back to the hotel at approximately noon.
Background: The waters that touch Waikīkī – and for which the region is named, literally “fresh spouting water” – originate in the valley and hillsides of Mānoa, and therefore the two regions are connected in history as they are in biology. Kalo, or taro, is considered the staff of life and the cornerstone of the native Hawaiian diet. Hawaiians believe that they are descendants of kalo, signified in Hawaiian creation chants telling of the union of Sky Father Wākea and Earth Mother Papa and their child, Hāloa, who unfortunately did not survive and was buried in the ground to become the first kalo plant.