Sugar cane, “Kō”, was brought to Hawai’i in the early settlement days.
It is associated with the god Kane. As a food in old Hawai’i, it was considered a condiment, in famine times a “life saver”. It was believed, back in the day, that chewing the tough fibers strengthened children’s teeth, and often it was grown near homes.
Proverbs and poetical sayings were often used in old Hawaii. Here’s examples of two.
He ʻoi kēlā ʻo ke kanaka huhū…ʻaʻohe pū kō momona iāia. He’s a very angry man…no clump of sugar cane will sweeten him up (you cannot mollify his anger).
Pua ke kō, kū ka heʻe. When the sugar cane tassels, the octopus season is here. Sugar cane tassels In late October or early November. Native Planters In Old Hawaii.
By Mary Kawena Pukui and Samuel H. Elbert (year) ʻŌlelo Noʻeau. Hawaiian Dictionary