New Waipi’o Kalo Festival Receives OHA Support

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs has awarded a $5,000 ‘Ahahui Grant to support the Waipi‘o Kalo Festival being organized by the community-based Hā Ola O Waipi‘o organization.

Waipio Valley Taro FestivalThe inaugural event, planned for Saturday, June 4, 2016, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., will honor Waipi‘o, the multi-generational kalo farmers, musicians, cultural practitioners, families with genealogical ties, and those who perpetuate Hawaiian culture in the Valley. The event is free and open to all, offering numerous opportunities to learn about kalo, plus lei-making, lau hala and lau niu (coconut frond) weaving demonstrations, a Kalo Cookoff, wonderful entertainment, great food and a Taro Team Relay.

Through moʻolelo (stories), lessons and information, participants may come to understand how sacred and important Waipiʻo Valley and taro farming are within Hawaiian culture and history. The Festival is designed to encourage people of all ages to reconnect with the ʻāina, feel empowered to grow their own kalo and provide healthy food for their ʻohana.

In addition, Festival presenters will teach about different varieties of kalo and their nutritional value and health benefits, various farming styles, and how to kuʻi kalo (pound kalo). Other information booths will teach about healthy soil agro-forestry, the importance of water, and the history of Waipiʻo and the Hāmākua district.

Friends of the Future serves as the fiscal sponsor for projects of Hā Ola O Waipio Valley. Founded in 1991, Friends of the Future’s mission is to facilitate a vision of lokahi among the diverse peoples of Hawaiʻi, encouraging each person to contribute their deepest values, to create shared visions, and to continuously improve our communities.

For more information about the Kalo Festival, email HaolaoWaipioValley@gmail.com or follow Hā Ola on Facebook.

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