Mānoa Heritage Center




Diospyros sandwicensis

Native Endemic

A small, hardy tree native to Kauaʻi and Oʻahu. In the Hawaiian language, lama means “light” or  “lamp,” suggesting enlightenment. Wood was used for building temples and enclosures (pālama) and for offerings to the hula goddess, Laka. Lama, in the ebony family, has a beautiful wood that was held sacred to the goddess of hula, Laka.