Kahuna, taken as a modern word might mean specialist, or Phd. But when you look for the words behind the word, Ka means “the light”, and Huna means “secret”, (in the esoteric sense). Taken another way, Kahu means, “honored servant, high servant, priest, one who takes charge of property or knowledge” and Na means “to care for, calm and centered”.
There were Kahuna of everything in Ancient Hawaii. Kahuna of planting, carving, canoe building, cloth making, lomi lomi massage, healing, herbs, actually any field of human endeavor included Kahuna. And yes, there were Kahuna of surfing.
The Ancient Hawai’ian Kahuna also guarded the esoteric knowledge concerning the Universe, thus enabling them to perform amazing feats of healing and magic. These Kahuna were, and are still Kahuna of La’au Lapa’au (medicine), La’au Kahea (faith healers or psychology), Na’auao (predictions or divination) and Kahuna ana ana (sorcery).
The original name of what we call Huna is Ho’omana, (Ho’o, to make and mana, life force energy). The people who practiced these teachings knew all that emanated came from the One, the source. Many believed that all the peoples of the Earth lived by that One teaching. As time progressed people deviated from that teaching creating the variety of beliefs and dis-beliefs that we find today.
Around 325 AD a wave began to sweep the world in an attempt to destroy all the balanced systems. For awhile Hawai’i was spared. But, hundreds of years later the Kahuna Pa’o arrived in Hawai’i and brought a masculine rule, installing the Kapu (things forbidden) system and established the order of Ku. Thus ending the balanced male/female system. Ho’omana became hidden inside the chants and hulahula (dance).
It wasn’t until1819 that King Kamehameha VI finally overturned the system, and a year later the missionaries arrived in their top hats and woolen clothes. They brought new priests and the new God of the haole (white man, or literally translated, one without breath). In their piety they almost single-handedly annihilated the population of a free and loving society that previously had no psychological or physical dis-ease. Again the Hawai’ians were forced to bury their teachings.
Kahuna Daddy Bray was arrested as late as 1979 for chanting on the Big Island in downtown Kailua-Kona. It was not until the Native American Religious Freedom Act was passed that it was again legal to openly practice the Ancient Ways. Huna is as broadly based as any other shamanistic system. Huna is not a religion, but a code to live by. There are no dues to pay. All you have to do is pay attention.
Because of the remoteness of the Hawai’ian Islands Huna remained pure, more like the original teachings. It is because of this that Huna is considered a direct link to the Ancient Teachings. The Huna healing model works with the Three Minds, clearing past limitations, relationships, forgiveness, breathing, meditation, Higher Self connection, love light and laughter. The healing model is balanced and centered work. People are viewed as totally whole, totally magnificent and part of the ohana (family).
Mahalo and Aloha nui loa