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Waipio Valley

Two of the most important and symbolic words in the Hawaiian vocabulary kalo and ohana, the words for taro and family can be used to describe the main focus of life in Waipio Valley. It is significant that the words are related in terms of language and legend. Kalo reproduces by means of underground sprouts, or oha, which are broken off the parent corm for planting. The word ohana itself is composed of the word oha and the suffix na, and so literally means off-shoots or "that which is composed of off-shoots"; by extension, then, it means "the off-shoots of a family stock" (Handy and Pukui 1972:3).

Changes in Waipio Valley over the last 150 years in the numbers and sizes of families, their ethnic background, educational and business opportunities, and planting choices have somewhat affected the ohana/kalo focus. This website presents snapshots of the valley that describe these changes from just before the Mahele to more recent generations who have maintained the cultivation of kalo and the structure of the ohana into the present day. These sketches of life are based on missionary records starting around 1830, Mahele documents of the mid-1800s, Hawaiian kingdom and U.S. government census records for the late 1800s and early 1900s. What comes through in these primary resources are three levels of social relationship that could be described as ohana in the post-Contact period that of the individual family, of the ethnic group, and of the larger, interrelated and interdependent community of Waipio Valley.


There are a number of important places ,or wahi pana, in Waipi`o Valley:

Wahi pana map
Click for larger map


Maps of Waipio Valley

LCA Award Map

Loi Map
Wauke Map
Kula Map
Houselot Map

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