What is a lo’i kalo?

 A lo’i kalo is a traditional Hawaiian irrigation system used for growing taro, a staple crop in Hawaiian culture. The word “lo’i” means “wetland” or “irrigated terrace” in Hawaiian, and “kalo” is the Hawaiian word for taro.

Lo’i kalo are typically found in areas with abundant water sources, such as near rivers or streams. They consist of a series of terraces or shallow pits that are dug into the ground and lined with rocks or other materials to retain water. Water is channeled from the water source into the lo’i kalo, where it is used to irrigate the taro plants.

Lo’i kalo were an important part of ancient Hawaiian agriculture and played a crucial role in the sustenance and cultural traditions of Hawaiian communities.

Today, many lo’i kalo have been restored and are used for cultural and educational purposes, as well as for the cultivation of taro for personal and commercial use. They are valued for their contributions to sustainable agriculture and the preservation of Hawaiian cultural traditions.

The U.S. National Archives, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons