Produced by Nā Maka o ka ʻĀina
Taro grower and Native Hawaiian practitioner Jerry Konanui works to propagate and save from extinction the numerous varieties of kalo (taro), a staple of the Hawaiian diet. Jerry’s mission is also to protect kalo, revered as the elder sibling (Haloa) of the Hawaiian people, from the risks of genetic engineering.
This video is set to a song, Na ‘Ono o ka ‘Aina (“The Delectable Taros of the Land”), inspired by renowned Hawaiian cultural educator Edith Kanaka’ole. Written by Kalani Meinecke and George Kahumoku, Jr. and performed by Kekuhi Kanahele and friends, the song praises several kalo varieties for their beauty, taste, fragrance and spiritual significance.
In this video survival guide, Jerry Konanui shares a lifetime of knowledge on identifying kalo varieties, successfully cultivatingkalo, and preparing poi. His passion is reflected in the massive turnout of taro growers and taro eaters who converge upon the capitol in Honolulu to proclaim their spiritual connection to this ancestor plant and to oppose any form of genetic modification. They are joined by Native Americans who face their own battles with the genetic engineering of rice and corn. Finally, the same capitol rotunda is filled with the sound of poi pounders as the largest poi-making gathering in history takes place.
This program was made possible with support from Hawai’i People’s Fund, the Hawai’i Community Foundation and Deviants from the Norm.
Also appearing: Winona LaDuke, Ku Kahakalau, Chris Kobayashi, Hokuao Pellegrino, Walter Ritte, Ikaika Hussey, Jim Cain, Manuel Rego, Gladys Konanui, and Representatives Mina Morita, Maile Shimabukuro and Della Au Belatti.
Produced and directed by Puhipau and Joan Lander of Nā Maka o ka ʻĀina
To purchase this DVD and to support Nā Maka o ka ʻĀina’s digital archiving project, please visit their website.