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Which Hawaiian word means 'witch doctor'?

Question #81080. Asked by tragic_flawed.
Last updated Jun 24 2021.

Answer has 11 votes
17 year member
44 replies avatar

Answer has 11 votes.
The base form of the word you have in mind is kahuna, as it is usually spelled. This is from the Hawaiian word kahuna meaning 'a priest; wise man; sorcerer; witch doctor'. In this sense it is found in English sources from the 1870s onwards.


Response last updated by zorba_scank on Aug 24 2016.
May 27 2007, 1:30 PM
zbeckabee star
Answer has 13 votes
Currently Best Answer
zbeckabee star
18 year member
11752 replies avatar

Answer has 13 votes.

Currently voted the best answer.
The "West" often uses the word kahuna as a generic term meaning "witch doctor" or "shaman" or "occult priest." However, the ancient kahunas were a select group of experts, in each local Polynesian community or extended family, who were recognized as the acknowledged masters of their particular fields.


Response last updated by gtho4 on Jun 24 2021.
May 27 2007, 4:10 PM
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