ʻUlu | Polo shirt - mustard
100% cotton | Polo shirt | Coconut buttons | Aina-friendly dyes & inks | Designed in Hawaii, made in the USA
Mai ka ʻulu wali o Halepuaʻa a ka ʻulu hua i ka hāpapa, palena ʻole ka mahalo o kānaka i ka hua kupanaha a me ka lāʻau maikaʻi o kēia kumu. From the smooth pounded ʻulu of Halepuaʻa (Puna, Hawaiʻi) to the ʻulu that fruits in the sand dunes (Niʻihau), there is boundless appreciation for the amazing fruit and the fine wood of this tree. Kūpuna of old cultivated ʻulu trees extensively. Large plantations in Kona were described by the earliest explorers and the "malu ʻulu," or "breadfruit shade" of Lele, the old name for Lahaina, is famous in story and song. Although the windward sides of most islands are especially conducive for growing ʻulu, trees were cultivated all over in a variety of habitats from sea level 2,000 feet and slightly above. Stories of and references to ʻulu in Hawaiian culture are nearly as prolific as the fruits of these fabulous trees. One source credits famed traveler Kahaʻi with introducing breadfruit to Hawaiʻi. Another story goes that Kū buried his own body and from it grew the ʻulu as food for his wife and child. Our favorite story is Kāmehaʻikana, where Haumea (Papa) saved Wakea, who was about to be killed by the executioner of Oʻahu chief Kumuhonua. He was tied to an ʻulu tree next to an extremely hot imu, so she shoved him into the tree and disappeared in after him. Aside from being a highly nutritious food source, the wood of the ʻulu tree was used to make many things including drums, canoes, surfboards, and boards for pounding poi. The inner bark of its saplings was also used to make kapa (barkcloth) and its gummy sap used as caulking, bird lime, and to join two gourds together to make an ipu heke (a gourd drum for hula). ʻUlu trees were also commonly planted atop the ʻiewe (placenta) of a child when it was returned to the earth. Ka ʻai nānā i luna - The food that one finds by looking up, in contrast to taro, sweet potato, and yam, which grow underground (ʻŌlelo Noʻeau).