In ancient Hawaiʻi, men and women ate meals separately and women weren’t allowed to eat certain foods. King Kamehameha II removed all religious laws that and performed a symbolic act by eating with the women in 1819. This is when the lūʻau parties were first created.

Luau

Robert Louis Stevenson at royal lūʻau, 1889

In ancient Hawaiʻi, men and women ate their meals separately; also women and the rest of society were not allowed to eat foods that were not common or foods that were only served during special occasions. However, in 1819, King Kamehameha II removed all the religious laws that were practiced. King Kamehameha II performed a symbolic act by eating with the women, thus ending the Hawaiian religious taboos. This is when the lūʻau parties were first created.

People dancing at a lūʻau

Food

Earlier, such a feast was called a pāʻina or ʻahaʻaina. The modern name comes from that of a food often served at a luau; squid or chicken lūʻau, which consist of meat, lūʻau (or taro) leaves, and… Continue Reading
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luau#History