This article investigates the patenting and genetic engineering of the plant taro (Colocasia esculenta), which Native Hawaiians consider their elder brother and ancestor Hāloa. It explores how molecular scientists at the University of Hawai‘i through their research activities inadvertently disrupted this relationship and concurrently provoked a resurgence of Native Hawaiians’ interest in their creation story Kumulipo and connection to their kin Hāloa. The juxtaposition of purportedly value-free scientific practices with a value-laden indigenous epistemology exposes the former’s debatable characterisation as ‘objective’. Scientific practices such as patenting or genetically engineering taro are discussed as hybrids that are composed of molecular scientists with real intentions; a plant as kin, ancestor and embodied god Kāne; and an indigenous people with real kinship to a non-human being. In consequence, the described case exemplifies how scientific practices are as malleable and situated as the concept of nature, while both concurrently shape each other.