kalo clip art


Kalo (also known as taro) is one of the staple starches of Polynesia. It’s incredibly nutritious, versatile, and easy to digest.

You can find a full breakdown of the nutrient properties of kalo over at Kupuna Kalo:

Kalo Nutritional Properties

There are many layers of understanding and connecting to kalo. On the practical side, it’s an amazing food source. On the spiritual side, kalo is known as Hāloa – man’s older brother. Knowing both aspects will deepen your appreciation of this wonderful plant.


The daughter of Wākea, the sky father, and Papahānaumoku, the Earth mother was Hoʻohōkūkalani. Her baby boy, named Hāloa, was stillborn.

Hāloa was buried and Hoʻohōkūkalani wept upon his grave. From the grave the first kalo plant sprouted and its leaves fluttered in the wind. They named this plant Hāloanakalaukapalili.

The next time Hoʻohōkūkalani was pregnant, she gave birth to a healthy boy who was also named Hāloa after his older brother. Because of Hāloanakalaukapalili – the kalo – that grew from the grave of Hāloa, the mortal descendants of Hoʻohōkūkalani were able to survive and thrive by eating kalo.

Kumu Keale tells the story of Hāloa:

Kalo Basics

Perspectives on the makaʻāinana, sustainability, Hawaiian history, and how it all relates to kalo with Daniel Anthony: