Join the experts at Hāna, Maui, to learn about Hawaiian kahuna.

Unit lesson


Video Questions

1) What is a kahuna?

2) Kāhuna were part of a chiefly class of trained experts. What are some examples of different kinds of kāhuna?

3) Kāhuna helped to take care of things that are spiritual in nature. In your life, who is in charge of giving you spiritual guidance and knowledge?

4) What are the main differences between aliʻi, kāhuna, and makaʻāinana?

5) To make a canoe, a kahuna would choose the tree, but the actual carving was done by others. Is there a need for both types of expertise? Why or why not?

6) Traditionally, kāhuna have taken care of the arts and practices of Hawaiians. Think about the people in your life who have guided you in Hawaiian arts and practices. Make a drawing or sculpture that symbolizes your relationship to these mentors.


Video Vocabulary

1) Maui nō ka ʻoi
Maui is the best

2) kahuna

3) aliʻi
chief, royal, ruler

4) kuleana
responsibility or privilege

5) genealogy
family tree or lineage

6) divinity
divine, as a god, to be godlike

7) pule

8) kahuna pule
the kahuna that specialized in prayer and religious ritual

9) heiau
a place of worship in traditional Hawaiian religion

10) ʻike

11) counsel
advice, support


Guiding Questions