The Hawaii Kahuna, Priest, and Healer

Kahuna Drumming

While religion figures prominently in all of the activities of the kahuna, they were also experts in their professions or crafts. The temple priests were closely associated with their chiefs and advised them in all important matters.

The medical kahuna, representing more than a dozen specialties, relied upon the spiritual aspects of their profession as well as their knowledge of the human body, of herb remedies, andmassage. Other kahuna, experts in crafts, supervised the construction of houses and canoes. The dreaded kahuna were those who prayed victims to death (kahuna ‘ana’ana).

Hawaiian Traditional CeremonyThe following are some of the types of kahunas:

Kahuna nui:

The high priest. A chief advisor to the ruling chief who consulted with him on matters of importance, such as the proper time to wage war.

Kahuna pule:

Selected from the chiefly class. Pule means prayer. Conducted the rituals in the heiau.

Kahuna kaula:

A prophet. A man or woman who foretold coming events and the outcome of such events. The spirit of his god caused each kaula to speak out fearlessly, often revealing a turn of events that his chief did not want to hear.

Kahuna hulihonua:

The land experts.

Kahuna kuhikuhilani:

Reads sign and omens in the sky.

Kahuna kuhikuhipu’uone:

Locates sites, especially for building heiau. He also selected sites for fishponds and houses.

Kahuna oneone'honua:

Dedicates the heiaus with prayers and special services.

Kahuna kilo hoku:

Studies the stars

Kahuna kilo honua:

Reads signs in the earth.

Kahuna nana uli:

A weather prophet.

Kahuna po'i 'uhane:

Captures the souls of the living or the dead.

Kahuna 'ana'ana:

Prayed people to death.

Kahuna:

There were approximately 15 other types having to do with illness and medical practices.

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The Kahuna Versatile Mystics of Old Hawaii

kahunaAuthor: L.R. McBride
Manufacturer: Hilo, Hawaii: The Petroglyph Press (1986)
Used From: $5.99
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Description : Great book featuring the history of cultures, religion, and arts of the Kahuna Order of Hawaii. 12 black and white illustrations of Hawaiian art, cermony and culture. Includes bibliography. Softcover.Read More



The Kahuna: Versatile Mystics of Old Hawaii

Author: L. R McBride
Manufacturer: Petroglyph Press

Buy Now
Description : Versatile Masters of Old Hawaii In ancient Hawaii the kahuna were far more than the priests of a religious order. They were experts, trained in a variety of skills and occupations, the learned and professional men and women of their time. On them rested the responsibility of preserving and advancing knowledge within their specific discipline. They arrived at their positions only after more than two decades of training. L. R. Mcbride...Read More


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