Photo: Public Domain
For the Hawaiian people, taro — called kalo in the islands — is more than just a plant. The sacred plant is instead considered an ancestor of their people, known as the elder brother of man. When the first voyagers arrived on the islands’ shores nearly 1,500 years ago, taro was one of the few plants they brought with them.
The plant is still considered sacred today. On Maui, it’s celebrated each year at the East Maui Taro Festival, an event held in Hana for its 27th time this year. From 9 a.m to 5 p.m. this Saturday at the Hana ballpark, you can sample and purchase fresh poi made by East Maui taro farmers, as well as other taro products such as kulolo.
Locals and visitors of all ages can try their hand at poi pounding,…