1.  The breadfruit. 2.  Round, smooth stone as used in ʻulu maika game; bowling ball; bell clapper; dice. 3. Muscles in calf of leg. 4. Name for kōnane stone.

This week we are going to spend some time with different ʻulu/ulu words.  Today’s ʻulu has an ʻokina before it.  Remember that. It doesn’t make any difference in the pronunciation until you put a word in front of it (ka ʻulu as opposed to ka ulu which sounds like kaulu).   Usually when you see (or hear) the word ʻulu (complete with ʻokina) it is in reference to the breadfruit plant or fruit which is grown throughout Hawaiʻi and Polynesia.  It is a useful tree belonging to the fig family. ʻUlu is grown for its edible fruits and its wood is used for poi-pounding boards (papa kuʻi ʻai), surfboards, and drums.  The sticky gum of the ʻulu tree was sometimes used to catch forest birds.

Hawaiians sometimes make poi (poi ʻulu) out of ʻulu but it ferments too quickly and produces stomach gas. ʻUlu is usually baked or boiled and has a taste similar to potatoes.  You can find ʻulu chips in some specialty stores.  I prefer to fry cooked ʻulu with butter and brown sugar.  Sinful. Or put it in a potato salad, along with sweet potato.


Nui ka ʻulu ma Hawaiʻi – There is a lot of ʻulu in Hawaiʻi.

Ua ʻai au i ka ʻulu i kēia kakahiaka – I ate ʻulu this morning.

He ʻulu kēia – This is ʻulu.


ʻUlu pilo – Stinking breadfruit (A term of contempt for the kauā of Puna, Hawaiʻi comparing them to rotted ʻulu.  These outcastes were said to live in caves and hollows, as breadfruit fallen on the ground to rot.)

ʻAʻohe ʻulu e loaʻa i ka pōkole o ka lou – No breadfruit can be obtained when the picking stick is too short. (Always be prepared.)

Copyright: 2015 – Liana Iaea Honda. All rights reserved. All versions of He Momi e Lei ai, in its entirety, past and present, is the property of L. K. I. Honda. Reproduction and use of any kind other than the sharing of this website is prohibited. Alteration to the original content in any form is prohibited in every and any instance, and use in any other variant is prohibited without written consent of the author. Adress inquiries to: hemomi [at] gmail.com. Definitions and wise sayings are from: Hawaiian Dictionary by Pukui and Elbert, 1986. ʻŌlelo Noʻeau – Hawaiian Proverbs & Poetical Sayings by Mary Kawena Pukui, 1983.

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