The hala, or pandanus, is a native plant to the Hawaiian and Pacific Islands. It has long aerial roots reaching the ground, that the whole tree appears to walk on straits sturdy stilts.
Legend says that the hala is so abundant as a direct result of Pele’s rage, whose canoe got entangled in the resistant roots and leaves on her first landing on shore. In her anger she ripped the trees in pieces and threw them across the island. The hala sprouted and thrived, whenever it touched ground.
Her anger was fortunate, because no other tree has been as useful to the Hawaiian people. All parts of the hala tree are valuable, the pollen, blossoms, fruit, leaves, bark, wood and roots can all be used.
It is said that the hala lei, made from the keys of its pineapple-fruit, is connected to death and eternal good-byes. Thus, wearing a hala lei can bring bad luck. Around new year, however, troubles leave forever, and the lei brings good luck. It is also said that the lei brings wisdom, and that the pollen of the male flower, stirred in a woman’s food, makes for arduous and passionate nights.
Today, the hala tree is best known for the ancient craft of lauhala weaving (lau means leaf). Contemporary weavers have adapted their craft to a changing market and you can find many of their pieces on the local markets. You can find: baskets, placemats, napkin holders or boxes. In the old days lauhala was used for canoe sails, wall thatch, window shutters, roof lining or floor mats.
It’s because of its connection with the Hawaiian culture that we chose Hala Tree Coffee as our farm name. As you arrive at our farm you are greeted with our majestic yellow hala tree! We are proud to have an important piece of Hawaiian on our farm and in our name.