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


Who is a kupuna?


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
Ancestors from the rising to the setting of the sun

Mai ka ho‘oku‘i a ka hālāwai
From the zenith to the horizon

Nā ‘aumākua iā Kahinakua iā Kahina ‘alo
Ancestors who stand at our back and at our front

Iā ka‘a ‘ākau i ka lani
Who stand at our right hand

‘O kīhā i ka lani
A breathing of the heavens

Ōwē i ka lani
An utterance in the heavens

Nūnulu i ka lani
A clear, ringing voice in the heavens

Kāholo i ka lani
A voice reverberating in the heavens

Eia nā pulapula a ‘oukou
Here we are your descendants,

‘o nā mamo a Hāloa
the descendants of Hāloa

E mālama ‘oukou iā mākou
Safeguard and take care of us

E ulu i ka lani
Let the heavens grow

E ulu i ka honua
Let the earth grow

E ulu i ka pae ‘āina o Hawai‘i
Let the islands of Hawai‘i grow

E hō mai i ka ‘ike
Grant us knowledge

E hō mai i ka ikaika
Grant us strength

E hō mai i ke akamai
Grant us intelligence

E hō mai i ka maopopo pono
Grant us understanding

E hō mai i ka ‘ike papalua
Grant us second sight

E hōmai i ka mana
Grant us power

‘Āmama, ua noa.
So be it, it is free.