Pololu Valley is seen through lau hala (hala leaves) from atop the overlook at the end of Hawaii highway 270 on the Big Island. Literally translated, “Pololu” means “long spear.” This valley is the first in a series of valleys that stretch several miles south and east ending with another famous valley, Waipio.
This steep valley on Hawaii’s northern shore at the foot of the Kohala mountain was famous for its taro (kalo) cultivation. Taro was one of the main staples of pre-Western civilization. Today taro is most often seen by most people in the forms of poi, a purple potato-like paste, and kulolo, a type of bread.