Kalo: "Taro"


Kalo is brother to Hawaiians. Hāloa was the son of Wākea and Ho'ohōkūkalani. Wākea was the father of the sky. When Ho'ohōkūkalani gave birth, the child was stillborn. Devastated, the gods buried their son in the ground wrapped in lauhala. What sprouted from the burial site, was the kalo. The kalo was described to have lau kapalili, "withering leaf," describing its fragility but still having a strong stock. In the center is a single teardrop, representing the grieving mother. And the 'oha, which is its stock, was taken to be replanted, creating more over time. One taro plant, can be replanted over and over and sooner or later, you can have more. This is where the word, 'ohana comes from.


Later, Ho'ohōkūkalani gave birth again and birthed Haloa Naka, who became the first human being. It's because of this that Hawaiians valued the earth and especially the kalo as their elder sibling, forever sustaining our life. Hāloa literally translates to, "eternal breath."


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