20th Annual East Maui Taro Festival

 Photo by Rolland Ericta.

Photo by Rolland Ericta.

There is nothing more precious and true to Hawaiian culture than that of taro (kalo). Culturally and historically, it is not only a primary source of food, but is symbolic of creation itself, as the Kumulipo (Hawaiian creation chant) depicts taro as the product of Papa (Earth Mother) and Wakea (Sky Father), of which Hawaiian life began. It comes as no surprise, then, that taro remains a venerable source of sustenance and cherished symbol for Hawaiian culture. 

To celebrate and honor the beloved kalo plant, each April the East Maui Taro Festival is held in Hana to impart invaluable 'ike (knowledge) with the people of Maui on everything from the planting, harvesting and pounding of kalo into poi. This weekend the residents of Hana will host the Taro Festival, complete with a farmers market, craft fair and performances by talented Hawaiian musicians and hula dancers. It is truly a celebration of culture you don't want to miss, in one of the most beautiful places on our island paradise!

This particular year is made even more special as it is dedicated to the late great Hawaiian musician Pekelo Cosma, of whom we have been fans of for years and who has performed alongside our daughter throughout the years for lu'au performances. He was a wonderful man and a truly gifted musician whose music we will forever cherish. Check out Pekelo's music on mele.com

For more information regarding the Taro Festival taking place this Saturday, April 21 2012, please visit tarofest.org to learn more about the importance of taro here in Hawai'i and for further details on this wonderful event.