The School Curriculum offers a year of activity and discussion for grades 6 through 12

Content Area: Culture

Standard: Analyzing Influences

  1. Objective: Identify kupuna in your family and community.

  2. Objective: Explain genealogy’s role as a tool for gaining cultural knowledge about other people in our community.

1. Define Kupuna. Kupuna means grandparent, ancestor, relative or close friend of the grandparent’s generation. Also means Starting point, source, and traditional.

2. Visit the Resources, People section of this website to see community members whose work in education supports kalo. While past generations of Hawaiians deserve respect as farmers and teachers, this website's Resource section names persons of Russian, Japanese, Jewish, Chinese, German, Portuguese, Filipino and American ethnicity who also deserve credit for perpetuating our food resources and culture.

3. Define Genealogy. Genealogy is a record of the descent of a person, family, or group from an ancestor.

Have students chart their family tree is a way that traces their own ancestor’s journey to Hawaii. This exercise is for all ethnicities.

Have students bring a story about the kinds of foods their kupuna may have eaten in the past when they were the student's age.

4. Invite kupuna to a lū‘au. If the class plans to harvest kalo in May, a May Day lū‘au can be an opportunity to show guest speakers or farmers who hosted a field trip gratitude for their help.

5. View this video about a kupuna, Eddie Would Go: The Story of Eddie Aikau, min. 10:11. By Chris Connelly of ESPN. Link to With respect to the Aikau ‘ohana, Eddie Aikau is a great example. It is not about kalo, but it is about being Hawaiian. Posted with permission from the Aikau ‘ohana. Mahalo.

6. Revisit this pule (prayer), Nā ‘Aumākua. It makes the connection between Hāloa, taro and ancestors. Translated by David Malo, from Hawaiian Antiquities, published by Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, available free online at Google Books.

Nā ‘Aumākua mai ka lā hiki a ka lā kau

Mai ka ho‘oku‘i a ka hālāwai

Nā ‘aumākua iā Kahinakua iā Kahina ‘alo

Iā ka‘a ‘ākau i ka lani

‘O kīhā i ka lani

Ōwē i ka lani

Nūnulu i ka lani

Kāholo i ka lani

Eia nā pulapula a ‘oukou

‘o nā mamo a Hāloa

E mālama ‘oukou iā mākou

E ulu i ka lani

E ulu i ka honua

E ulu i ka pae ‘āina o Hawai‘i

E hō mai i ka ‘ike

E hō mai i ka ikaika

E hō mai i ke akami

E hō mai i ka maopopo pono

E hō mai i ka ‘ike papalua

E hōmai i ka mana

‘Āmama, ua noa.

Ancestors from the rising to the setting of the sun

From the zenith to the horizon

Ancestors who stand at our back and at our front

Who stand at our right hand

A breathing of the heavens

An utterance in the heavens

A clear, ringing voice in the heavens

A voice reverberating in the heavens

Here we are your descendants,

the descendants of Hāloa

Safeguard and take care of us

Let the heavens grow

Let the earth grow

Let the islands of Hawai‘i grow

Grant us knowledge

Grant us strength

Grant us intelligence

Grant us understanding

Grant us second sight

Grant us power

So be it, it is free.