menuclose
Hookuaaina Rebuilding Lives From The Ground Up

Nani Ke Kalo

Nani ke kalo, beautiful the taro, is our foundational lesson at Hoʻokuaʻāina that sets the tone for everything that takes place at Kapalai. As the main staple and elder sibling of the Hawaiian people, kalo (taro) was considered sacred. Hence, when working with or preparing kalo to be eaten, great respect must be given and demonstrated. 

We see this in the moʻolelo of Hāloa, one of the Hawaiian creation stories. In it, Wākea and Hoʻohōkūkalani have a child. When it comes time for that child to be born, they find that he, unfortunately, is without life, so they bury the baby outside of the hale. In their mourning, they are consoled when they find that out of the area that the child was buried, came forth the first kalo plant, which they name Hāloanakalaukapalili. Hoʻohōkūkalani becomes pregnant again, this time giving birth to a healthy baby boy, who they also name Hāloa, after his kuaʻana (elder brother). Hāloa the kaikaina (younger brother) becomes the first aliʻi and the progenitor of the Hawaiian people, establishing in the Hawaiian world the familial connection of all Hawaiians to kalo. In the moʻolelo, we are reminded of our kuleana (responsibility, privilege) as kānaka (people) to mālama (care for) kalo, who in turn will feed, care for, and nourish us. 

Everyone’s life has purpose and meaning, therefore, loving, caring for, and respecting oneself is essential to being able to respect anything else. For us at Hoʻokuaʻāina, the phrase “nani ke kalo” reminds us to carry ourselves with great respect. Visitors are challenged to contemplate thoughts about themselves and shift their perspective, if needed, to consider the great value of their own life. All participants are to use the expression “nani ke kalo” as a reminder that they are sacred and must carry themselves accordingly. In addition, this expression is to be used to encourage others, who may not be thinking, speaking, or acting in such a way. After recognizing the value and importance of our own lives, we are then able to respect and care for ʻāina and for others in our families, classes, and community.

Inquiry Questions

  • What do you think about the following statements?
    • Your life has meaning and purpose
    • Your life is destined for greatness
  • Has anyone expressed those things to you? How does believing that shift how we see and carry ourselves?
  • How can we apply the concept of “Nani Ke Kalo” to our lives today?  

Vocabulary

  • Nani: Beautiful
  • Kalo: Taro
  • ʻĀina: Land, that which feeds
  • Kanaka: Person
  • Kuaʻana: Elder sibling (of the same gender)
  • Kaikaina: Younger sibling (of the same gender)
  • ʻAi: To eat, kalo, food
  • Māla: Garden
  • Mālama: To care for
  • Kilo: To observe, watch closely

Moʻolelo

Hāloa
View The Moʻolelo: Hāloa Here Reflection Questions
  • What does the moʻolelo teach us about the connection between kalo and kanaka?
  • Based on the moʻolelo, how are kalo and kānaka meant to care for one another? How does Hāloa the kalo care for Hāloa the kanaka and vice versa?
  • What does the moʻolelo of Hāloa teach us about respect?
  • What life lessons might we learn from this moʻolelo? How might it connect with our ʻōlelo noʻeau?
Mākālei
View The Moʻolelo: Mākālei Here Reflection Questions
  • In the moʻolelo of Mākālei, what happened to Kahinihiniʻula? How was he treated? What was the result of this?
  • What was Olomana’s reaction once he realized what had happened to Kahinihiniʻula? Did he agree or disagree with his kahuna? What did he do instead?
  • What does this moʻolelo teach us about the importance of respect and valuing all members of the ʻohana/community?
  • In what ways did the characters in this moʻolelo express aloha for one another? In what ways did they fail to do so?
  • What life lessons might we learn from this moʻolelo? How might it connect with our ʻōlelo noʻeau?

Possible Extension Activities

Nani Ke Kalo - Identity
Get a jar or a notebook and write down one positive attribute about yourself each day. Be as consistent as possible, committing to record something positive every day. Every week, go back and reread what you have written, reminding yourself about your own importance and the truth of who you are.
Acts of Aloha
Commit to completing at least one act of aloha each day. You may choose to record these as you complete them and occasionally go back and reflect on the impact your choice to aloha others is having on yourself and the world. Some ideas include:
  • Speak life by offering words of encouragement
  • Give selflessly
  • Serve and help where it is needed
  • Choose to respond with grace, even when it is challenging
  • Forgive
Māla ʻAi (Food Garden)

Find ways to plant and care for kalo at home. If you have a yard, create a māla (garden) by finding an area that will provide you adequate water and sunlight. Your kalo will likely need to be watered at least once a day and will do well in full sunlight. If you do not have enough space on your ʻāina to plant the kalo, you could mix your soil and compost and plant them in a large bin or 5-gallon bucket.
  • Math: Measure the area needed to plant the kalo. Create a sketch of the area with a key that includes your measurement scale. Be sure to map out where you will plant your kalo. Each kalo should be around one haʻilima (from elbow to fingertip) apart.
  • Science: Prepare the soil mixing it with natural organic fertilizers and/or compost before planting. Do daily observations of your kalo and other things in the ʻāina. You can record this data along with measurements on a data table or use our Kilo Journal.
  • English: Write poems, reflections, or short stories about your kalo and māla.
  • Social Studies: Research the significance of kalo to the Hawaiian people, others in the Pacific, and those around the world.
Reflection Questions
  • As you care for your kalo, what does it teach you about respect and the concept of “nani ke kalo”?
  • How are tasks like watering and pulling weeds essential to the healthy growth of your kalo? What happens when you do or don’t do these things?
  • How is this similar to how we care for ourselves? What are the things that we need to clear out? What are things that “water” us and keep us healthy and happy?

Content on this page was written and compiled by Danielle Espiritu, Education Specialist

Hookuaaina Rebuilding Lives From The Ground Up

Hoʻokuaʻāina is located in the ahupuaʻa of Kailua at Kapalai in Maunawili on the island of Oʻahu.

For more information about our programs or how you can get involved please contact us.

visit us

916E Auloa Rd.

Kailua, HI 96734

mail

P.O. Box 342146

Kailua, HI 96734

follow us

Hookuaaina Rebuilding Lives From The Ground Up

Hoʻokuaʻāina is located in the ahupuaʻa of Kailua at Kapalai in Maunawili on the island of Oʻahu.

For more information about our programs or how you can get involved please contact us.

visit us

916E Auloa Rd.

Kailua, HI 96734

mail us

P.O. Box 342146

Kailua, HI 96734

email us

Reach Us At:

info@hookuaaina.org

follow us

Hoʻokuaʻāina is a 501c3 Non-Profit Organization

© Hoʻokuaʻāina 2020 All Rights Reserved | Terms & Conditions | Privacy | Site By Created By Kaui

Hoʻokuaʻāina is a 501c3 Non-Profit Organization

© Hoʻokuaʻāina 2020 All Rights Reserved | Terms & Conditions | Privacy | Site By Created By Kaui

Hoʻokuaʻāina is a 501c3 Non-Profit Organization

© Hoʻokuaʻāina 2020 All Rights Reserved | Terms & Conditions | Privacy

Stay Connected.

Sign up below to get information delivered straight to your inbox. Never miss a Poi Production Day and stay in the know with the latest news, special promotions and ways to get involved with the Hoʻokuaʻāina community.
Email address
Interest
Please add michele@hookuaaina.org to your contact list!

Pin It on Pinterest