House Advances Measure Designating October as Kalo Appreciation Month

In 2008, the Legislature designated the “kalo,” the Hawaiian word for taro, as the state plant. Today, the House of Representatives advanced a bill (HB2809) that would make October Kalo Appreciation Month. The measure will now crossover to the Senate for consideration.

The purpose of the bill is to promote kalo cultivation and appreciation, as it is a culturally significant plant to the kanaka maoli, Hawaii’s indigenous peoples, and to the State of Hawaii.

In testimony in support of the measure before the House Agriculture Committee, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs stated, “This would be an opportunity to showcase the kalo plant and perpetuate the historic cultural, spiritual and health-related importance of kalo. No other plant more suitably represents Hawaii.”

The measure was introduced by Representatives Faye Hanohano, Angus McKelvey and Jessica Wooley.