February 10, 2011
Travel To Hawaii - Luau History
In ancient Hawaii, men and women ate meals together. Commoners and women of all levels have also been banned by the ancient Hawaiian religion to eat certain delicacies. Everything changed in 1819 when King Kamehameha II abolished traditional religious practices. Holiday, where the King ate with women was a symbolic act which ended the Hawaiian religious tabus and luau was born.
Favorite dish at these feasts is what gave the luau's name. Young and tender leaves of the taro plant were combined with chicken, baked in coconut milk and called luau.
The traditional luau feast was eaten on the floor. Lauhala mats were developed and a beautiful centerpiece with ti leaves, ferns and native flowers about three feet wide was laid the length of the mat. Bowls full of poi, the Hawaiian staple diet made from pounded taro root, and platters of meat were laid and dry foods like sweet potatoes, salt, dried fish or meat covered with leaves laid directly on the clean ti leaves.
To the consternation of the proper Victorian visitors, utensils were never used in a luau, not everything was eaten with your fingers. Poi different texture got its name from the number of fingers needed to eat it ... three fingers, two toes, or the thickest, one finger poi.
Guest at the coronation of King Kalakaua luau in 1883 described the lavish decorations typical of the traditional luau, tables covered with white, but the entire tops were covered with ferns and dense foliage time, as almost to create a tablecloth of themselves; number of flowers placed on the mixing of the ferns ... The natives turned out in great numbers, and the smell of the Leis of flowers and leaves emails almost overwhelming.
Luaus today are not as large as those hosted by Hawaiian royalty in 1800, but they are a lot of fun and had the same traditional foods ... and utensils are allowed.