Question #81080. Asked by tragic_flawed.
Last updated Jun 24 2021.
Answer has 11 votes
callie_ross 16 year member
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
Answer has 13 votes
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zbeckabee Moderator 17 year member
Answer has 13 votes.
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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.