(BIVN) – On Thursday, Hawai‘i lost a beloved cultural icon with the sudden passing of Pahoa resident Jerry Konanui.
Uncle Jerry was considered by many to be a top expert on the cultivation and preservation of taro, also known as kalo in Hawai‘i. The crop is more than a food source; its a symbol of culture and sustainable living, and is even considered an ancestor of man by those who grow it. And for years Uncle Jerry showed us how.
Konanui may be gone, leaving behind a wife and loving family, but his memory remains preserved on treasured educational recordings. The filmmakers of Na Maka O Ka `Aina documented Konanui doing what he loved: working with his kalo, and sharing his knowledge with the world.
“I get asked so much questions so many times,” Konanui said in the trailer for Malama Haloa – Protecting the Taro, “what is the best taro? The super taro? I tell ’em, the taro that’s made the poi in the bowl on my table. That’s the best taro.”
The 68-year-old Konanui died just hours before his 69th birthday. (CORRECTED AGE)