By Zach Royer
Please cast aside any notions you may have from Hollywood movies or TV of what the term Kahuna represented in the past, and still represents today. They were not witch doctors, but some were ( and possibly are ) practitioners of dark arts.
The word Kahuna is derived from Kahu, which means caretaker. Also, huna means secret; so together, a Kahuna was the keeper or caretaker of secret or sacred knowledge. In other words, a Kahuna was a professional expert of a given field of knowledge and practice. They were much like the guild masters of Medieval Europe, or indeed the Freemasons, in that their expertise was kept away from the prying eyes of the general public, and thus was kept secret.
Beyond being the leading practitioner of his or her craft or profession, each also acted as the interface between his “guild” so to speak, and its Patron and or Matron Spirits. Prayers and offerings were regularly made to the Spirit or Spirits in order to solicit Mana. This would include asking for special powers or energies, and solutions to problems of a technical or spiritual nature.
The Kahuna nui advised his Ali’i on spiritual matters, and conducted rituals in order to invoke spiritual help and guidance. The Luakini was the principle Heiau, and thereby the largest and most elaborate, where these rituals would usually be performed.
The Luakini Heiau were the Heiau of the Ali’i and were dedicated to Ku as the patron Spirit of politics and warfare. Food offerings were presented at the Luakini for Ku on a regular basis, because it was believed that if a spirit was not fed on a regular basis, he or she would drift away. When it was deemed necessary, the gift of a man was offered to Ku. An enemy slain in battle, or a convict or slave were the most common of these rare gifts. Only a healthy man was ever offered, not a woman, child, deformed man, or one of old age.
The following are some of the classes of Kahuna as practised in pre-contact Hawaii:
Kahuna po’o or Kahuna nui - High priest
Kahuna kaula - Prophet
Kahuna wehe wehe - Dream interpreter
Kahuna Kilo kilo - Reader of skies and omens
Kahuna a’o - Teacher of sorcery
Kahuna ‘ana ‘ana - Users of black magic
Kahuna kuehu - One who drove off evil spirits
Kahuna ninau ‘uhane - One who speaks to spirits
Kahuna ‘ea - One who could raise the dead
Kahuna hanau keiki - Midwife
Kahuna kauka ha’iha’i iwi - Bone setter
Kahuna lomi lomi - Massage expert
Kahuna la’au lapa’au - Herb doctor
Kahuna niho - Dentist
Kahuna haha - Diagnoses illness by feeling the body
Kahuna pa’ao’ao - Diagnoses chidren illness by using hands
Kahuna la’au kahea - Faith healing
Kahuna kaukaukalolo - Tattoo expert
Kahuna ho’o o ulu’ai - Agriculture expert
Kahuna imu - Cooking expert
Kahuna kalai - Carving expert
Kahuna kalai ki’i - Sculptor
Kahuna kalai wa’a - Canoe maker
Kahuna hale kukulu - House builder
Kahuna kumu hula - Leader of a hula halau ( hula group )
Kahuna haku mele ula - Makers of chants and music
Kahuna ho’okele - Navigator
Kahuna kela moku - Expert seaman
Kahuna ‘upena hana - Expert fishnet maker
Kahuna lawai’a kolau - Expert at catching fish with a net
Kahuna wanana ikeauokamanawa - Reader of weather signs
Kahuna lawai’amanu - Expert bird catcher
Kahuna ka’a kaua - War strategist
Kahuna papa po’o - Leader of the warriors
Kahuna lawelawe iwi - Cares for the bones of the dead
Kahuna kukei’i wana’ao - Expert story teller
Kahuna hui - Led functions and ceremonies for Ali’i
In fact, there were 40 kinds of craft making Kahuna alone! The power and social position of the Kahuna, at least those involved in religious practices, largely ended when the Kingdom Of Hawaii officially abandoned the ancient religion in 1819. This was done under the reign of Liholiho ( Kamehameha II ) under pressure from his key advisors, including his Kahuna nui.
The reasoning behind this seems to have been one of the results of contact with the Europeans, starting with Captain James Cook in 1778. The Hawaiians did not look upon the Europeans as being superior beings, but as a people who had been blessed with fascinating materials and technology. It was contact with these first European “visitors” that resulted in the rapid drop in the population of the Hawaiian people due to introduced diseases such as smallpox, measles, Hansen’s disease, whooping cough, influenza and gonorrhoea. Some sources estimate that the Hawaiian population was 300,000 when Cook arrived in 1778; by 1853 their number was 71,019. It is possible that some the Hawaiians, including some of the Kahuna healers, saw the Europeans’ God as more powerful than their own Akua ( High God, also known as Io, ) because the Europeans did not suffer as much from these diseases.
THE KAHUNAS OF OLD HAWAII KNEW THE SECRET TO UNLOCKING THE POWERS OF YOUR BODY, MIND, & SPIRIT
"Kahuna", like most Hawaiian words, has many meanings. Among the most sacred of its meanings is, "Keeper of The Secret".
The "secret" of the Kahunas of Hawaii is the key to POWER. Power to walk on red hot lava. Power to fuse broken bones instantly. Power to heal ailments of the mind, the body, and the soul. Power to make "magic" and power to create "miracles". Power documented by western scientists. Power so feared by the missionaries who witnessed it they taught the people of Hawaii the Kahunas were sinful and their power evil. An ignorance that robbed the Kahunas of much of their power to help their people.
Which is as it should be.
Because as long as humans believe power exists not in themselves but in others, humans will be controlled and enslaved by others.
Because the power to control and enslave others ultimately corrupts all who use it.
Because when power corrupts, all suffer - including earth itself.
The "secret" of the Kahunas is that they knew about the subconscious - which they called the "low self" - and the role it plays in all feats of power. A "secret" they knew hundreds of years before psychology even guessed at the existence of the subconscious. A "secret" they kept hidden so that they might use this knowledge for "good" and in some cases "evil". A "secret" many of the Kahunas of today - as well as most "healers", even those that work with the subconscious - do not fully comprehend.
There is a great deal yet to discover about the subconscious, but there is also a great deal known about it today by those who work directly with it
Still, precious few realize as profoundly as did the old Kahunas that the subconscious is the greatest ally or the greatest foe in achieving health, wealth, and everything else one desires.
Understanding of the subconscious - what it is and how it works and why it has such power - is important to gaining its cooperation without the use of tricks, manipulation, or coercion.
TEN IMPORTANT POINTS FOR INCREASING UNDERSTANDING OF THE SUBCONSCIOUS
Max Freedom Long Live Hawaii
Many people mistakenly think Huna was the religion in Hawaii or the "teachings of the Ancient Hawaiian people," but Huna actually refers to the Metaphysical Theory developed by Max Freedom Long, along with a number of respected Kahunas, which was primarily based on the Ancient Hawaiian Psychological, Religious, and Philosophical traditions of the Kahuna.
Huna does not refer to any specific practice ... like Hoomana, Hooponopono, Hula, Chanting, or Lomi Lomi ... but instead refers to the underlying assumptions upon which these individual Hawaiian practices are based.
In fact, over 2600 separate Hawaiian systems have been discovered and researched. And, even though they differ from island to island, from village to village, from clan to clan, from family to family, and from individual to individual, there are certain key principles upon which they do agree.
It is these most fundamental and universal principles, upon which all traditional Hawaiian Healing methodologies are based, that comprise Huna.
Huna may be called a philosophy or a system of psychology because it contains elements of philosophy, science, and religion.
During the last century investigations were made into native magic in Africa, India and other parts of the world. Spiritualistic phenomena have been certified as genuine and studied by recognized scientists. Spiritual and psychic phenomena have been generally verified and are gaining wider acceptance in the Western World.
But there was never any definite basic system, philosophy, theory, or psychological-religious science which would explain, even in the most general terms, the phenomena of the various fields until the publication of Recovering the Ancient Magic by Max Freedom Long.
He gave this general theory the name Huna.
Around 1880, in Hawaii, an investigation began which, after seventy years of research, produced a general theory that promises to provide answers for a host of puzzling questions.
This investigation was begun by Dr. William Tufts Brigham, long-time curator of the Bishop Museum in Honolulu.
In Hawaii there were, up to about 1900, many Kahunas, or native priests, who, although outlawed, worked among their fellow Hawaiians as healers or practitioners of the dreaded "death prayers." Some fire-walked over lava flows, a few demonstrated instant healing, and the young Dr. Brigham was fortunate enough to observe and study a case in which a boy, dead from drowning for sixteen hours, was brought back to life through a use of "native magic. "
Dr. Brigham came to the conclusion that, behind these and similar activities, there must be a single basic scientific system which explained all such "magical" phenomena.
He postulated ...
1. There must be some form or entity or consciousness which the Kahunas were able to contact through ceremony or prayer.
2. This "unidentified consciousness" could use an unidentified force or energy in such a way as to control temperature in fire-walking or make the changes in physical matter necessary to produce instant healing.
These conclusions pointed inevitably to a system of Metaphysics, so it was necessary to include research into the Psychic Sciences because this secret and mysterious system found working magic in Hawaii was not a matter of empty words and theorizing because it clearly worked.
In due time it was possible to explain a part of the basic theory and its methods of application. Because of the major contribution made by Hawaiian Kahuna ("keepers of the secret") preserving and maintaining these ancient practices, Max Freedom Long gave this new theory the name Huna.
Max continued doing research along with the Huna Research Associates until his death in 1971, when he bequeathed the organization to Dr. E. Otha Wingo, then professor at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, where the Huna Research Associates are continuing the coordination of teaching, research, and practice of Huna today.
So why the confusion?
In the mid-1960's some authors, recognizing the popularity of Max Freedom Long's Huna, began promoting themselves as Kahuna. Other people began promoting a variety of Hawaiian and pseudo-Hawaiian belief systems by saying they were "the real huna" even though the word previously referred only to Max's work.
This trend is still going on today, but everyone using the word Huna got it from studying Max Freedom Long.
His most popular book was The Secret Science Behind Miracles, which is totally incomplete because he wrote it long before establishing the Huna Research Associates. But Max was fortunately able to produce more than 50 years of painstaking research himself, and the vast majority of it was never published in books.
So a deeper understanding of Huna and complete, workable system for producing miracles was passed on through the Huna Research Associates, who quietly continue studying and perfecting the system through a world-wide network, meeting annually to share, teach, learn, and explore new territories.
Nana I Ke Kumu!
Additional Links of Interest:
http://www.sacred-texts.com/nth/ssbm/index.htm (The Secret Science Behind Miracles)