[Story and photo by Mike Foley, originally published in Kaleo on December 17, 1998]
(Left-right): Sione Feinga, Theresa Bigbie, Tino Koahou,
Martha Kalama and Lemau Tauali’i show the taro they’ve just pulled.
It seemed like déjà vu as kupuna and other community members gathered at the new Hawaii Reserves taro farm mauka of Laie in Po’ohaili, only this time it was to huki kalo or begin to harvest the taro many of these same people helped plant on Feb. 6, 1998. Many of them were dressed appropriately for climbing into the mud of the lo’i or taro patches.
Ten months later five of the lo’i stretch makai with the plants in various stages of growth. It was windier and cooler than when the huli kalo were planted, but the plant leaves now stand more than three feet above the taro roots, which can be seen poking out of the mud.
The Nani Laie Serenaders, a kupuna group, were there singing in Hawaiian. William K. Wallace III, a keiki o ka aina o Laie and director of the BYUH Center for Hawaiian Language &?Cultural Studies, several of his students and Cy Bridges, Director of Cultural Island Presentations at PCC, chanted in honor of the occasion.
“On behalf of all of our kupuna and our kanaka maoli here in Hawaii, we share our aloha with you,” Wallace told the group.