I was on Maui this past weekend at the Grand Wailea Resort visiting Amasia and also participating in the first inaugural Niu Festival on the grounds.  "Niu" is the Hawaiian word for coconut.  The festival celebrates the cultural importance of the coconut plant to the Hawaiian people, and its prominence in the area now called Wailea. In fact, the Grand Wailea is built on the land of an ancient village named Niukauila, which roughly translates to "important ceremonies consecrating the altar of the coconut."  I learned that there is a male and female coconut, of which we determine by how we place the coconut before it starts sprouting a new branch.  Of course, the Kahu told me that the female plant is better. 

At the Niu Festival, I was a judge in the coconut cook-off.  It was interesting.  There were a couple of favorites for sure, and I can't wait for next year.  You can always learn something new about the things you often take for granted, and next year I want to learn more about the various uses of the coconut and, in particular, the medicinal uses.