Mele Look, left, and Gergory Maskarinec in the John A. Burns School of Medicine's garden.

The Native Hawaiian Center of Excellence, in the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s John A. Burns School of Medicine, and Bishop Museum will present a series, Native Food, Native Stories, from February through May. The workshops will cover ʻawa, ʻulu (breadfruit), ʻuala (sweet potato) and heʻe (octopus).

“These were popular foods in traditional times and continue to be enjoyed in contemporary Hawaiʻi” said Mele Look, director of community engagement in the Department of Native Hawaiian Health. 

Look adds that the three plant foods are also cultivated at the medical school’s Māla Lapaʻau (medical garden) and the heʻe can be found in the coastal waters off of the medical school’s Kakaʻako facilities.

Native Food, Native Stories workshops schedule

  • February 2—The Ceremonial and Social Usages of ʻAwa in Hawaiʻi, Then and Now at 6 p.m.
  • March 17—The ʻUlu Workshop at 9 a.m. (Tickets for the ʻulu plate lunch may be purchased for $20 per person. Call (808) 847-8296 for reservations.)
  • April 12—He Mala: ʻUala and ʻĀina Piko: A Force for Life, Health and Genealogical Connection at 6 p.m.
  • May 10—The Lure and Lore of Heʻe: Fishing Traditions of the Kewalo Family at 6 p.m.

Tuition for each workshop is $10 for the general public and free for Bishop Museum members. To reserve your space, call (808) 847-8296. All presentations are at the Bishop Museum’s Atherton Hālau. For details on the presentations, visit Bishop Museum’s website.