National Geographic : 2002 Dec
-ALIACES - ALlI'LOA & KEHAU ISLAND OF MAUI O ur little distraction," says Sommer Kehau Kimokeo ofher two-month-old daughter, 'Ale'a (below and right). "She has tickle spots on her legs, and when she giggles, it's really cute." Such laughter is a welcome diversionfor Kehau, 23, and her husbandAli'iloa, 26, who are struggling to live as close to a traditional lifestyle as they can-no easy feat on Maui, the playgroundof the rich andfamous. But with the help of 'ohana, their extended and supportive "MY FRIENDS ARE AMAZED. SOME ARE STILL GOING TO SCHOOL, STILL FIGURING OUT WHAT THEY WANT TO DO, AND I'M OUT HERE WITH MY HUSBAND WORKING IN THE TARO PATCHES." family, they are making it work, tending the same lo'i, or taro patches, that Ali'iloa's par ents, grandparents, and ancestors tended on the Ke'anae Peninsula. It's a labor of love, and a lot of hand labor at that:planting, weeding, harvesting, and scraping the cooked tarobefore grindingit into paste-like poi, which they share with family andfriends.Even brother Kealoha, age ten, nephews Kainalu,five, and Koali'i,four,pitch in, stomping in the mud and trimmingti plants around the lo'i (right)."It's probablythe hardestpath we could have chosen," says Kehau. "But when we first met, Ali'iloa was living traditionally,following his ancestors. I wanted to support him because I saw how much he loved it. He was living the culture, andyou don't see that in a lot of people today.Especially people our age. They're working regulareight-hourjobs to survive in today's society." Ali'iloa andKehau, who live with hisparents, have to stay busyjust to stay afloat.