Taro: A Literary Journey

A National Book Lover’s Day Exhibit
Apuakehau Cultural Park
August 2020

In honor of National Book Lover’s Day, we are highlighting the importance of books to the understanding of the past.

The design and interpretation of Apuakeau Cultural Park (once the King’s Taro Patch and current location of the Lahaina Public Library) has benefited greatly from historic accounts captured in published works.

Please enjoy the slideshow and books below to explore taro through the impressions and recollections of the past.

Taro in Quotes

Taro is a plant of hot climates; its root is used for making a flour that tastes somewhat like our barley flour when mixed with rye.
– Around the World on the Kamchatka, 1817-19

Taro/kalo and poi was an intriguing new food source to those encountering it for the first time and trying to explain it to those far away was not an easy task. Below are the attempts of sailors, missionaries, and writers to do so.

Book Links

Click on the covers below to link to digital copies/versions of these books or use the call number in the captions to borrow these books from the Hawaiian Public Library system.

Incidents of a Whaling Voyage (H 910.45 O)
Voyage of HMS Blonde (H 910.4 D)

Mark Twain in Hawaii (H 816 T)

Lahaina in the Early Days

Dr Baldwin of Lahaina (H B B174)



For the most up to date information, please visit:


Baldwin Home Museum
120 Dickenson Road, Lahaina, HI 96761


(808) 661-3262