1. nvt. Hill, as of sweet potatoes; dune; to hill up. Cf. puʻe one. (PPN puke.)

2. vt. To attack, force, ravish, rape, compel. Keiki puʻe, boy or youth who ravishes women. (Puk. 22.16.) (PPN puke.)

3. n. A lobelia (Lobelia gaudichaudii var. kauaensis) found only in mountains of Kaua’i. The stem, 1 to 2 m high, bears a tuft of narrow leaves 15 cm long, and three or four racemes of large flowers, whitish streaked with purple.

(Okay, friends, think yesterday. Think ʻuala. Remember what ʻuala means? This is a continuation. There is a lot to learn about ʻuala!)

Cultivating ‘uala is not as intensive or time consuming as growing kalo, but there are certain methods that are followed.  Propagation is from cuttings or slips called lau ‘uala.    The slips are planted in mounds called puʻe.  This is the same puʻe that you hear in the song, “Kuʻu Ipo I Ka Heʻe Puʻe One”, my sweetheart surfing [over the] sand bars, by Princess Miriam Likelike.  Two to three cuttings are placed in a hole in each puʻe, then the puʻe are covered with a mulch of leaves to help conserve moisture.  Hawaiians are the best at organic farming techniques!

There are many varieties of ‘uala, although Polynesians brought with them only a few.  Through natural hybridization or cross-pollination other varieties developed whose names were given based on their leaf shapes or colors, skin, and/or colors of the flesh of the roots. An example of this would be the Uahi a Pele (Pele’s smoke) variety whose leaf is a bit dark, resembling smoke, and pia (arrowroot) whose flesh color resembles that of the arrowroot found here.

Interestingly, there is a place on the island of Molokaʻi named ʻUalapuʻe.  Yes! Yesterday’s He Momi and today’s all rolled up into one!  ʻUalapuʻe is located in Kamalō, south Molokaʻi and literally means Hilled Sweet Potato.

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Puʻe is a noun.

Ua hana ‘ia ka puʻe no ke kanu ‘ana i ka ‘uala – The mounds were made for planting ‘uala.

Nui nā puʻe ma ka māla ‘uala – There are a lot of mounds in the ‘uala garden.


Kālina ka pono, ‘a’ohe hua o ka puʻe, aia ka hua i ka lālā – The potato hill is bare of tubers for the plant no longer bears; it is the vines that are now bearing (the mother is no longer bearing, but her children are)

Nā puʻe ‘uala ‘īnaʻi o ke ala loa – The sweet potato mounds that provide for a long journey (said of a patch of ‘uala whose crops are reserved for a journey).

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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