The Kahunas are the mystical lore-keepers of the Menehune. Their wisdom is vitally important to their people, moreso these days than in times past, for they are the intermediaries between the spirits and the people. While the Menehune may have alliances with a particular totem, the kahunas are necessary to make tribal and place-specific alliances, to ordain or abandon he'iaus as necessary, and to divine bad omens from the spirit world.
The Menehune system of taboos is regulated by the kahunas. Using evidence from the spirit world or from other divinations, they can agree to change taboos within a given year (unlike the traditional Hawai’ians). Only if a majority of kahunas agree will these new taboos be announced. To announce one without consensus risks people following the new taboo and thus breaking old taboos and a cycle of bad luck is begun.
A kahuna also knows how to appease the spirits when taboos are broken. In the past, the spirits would often require the death of the perpetrator, even if it was a Menehune. But in these times of dwindling population, the kahunas are hesitant to do so. They have so far found other sacrifices to appease the spirits.
Kahunas often spend time gathering lore in particular areas, whether it be astrology, plant lore, animal lore, or whatever other field of knowledge would be useful in interpreting the needs of the spirits.
Kahunas come in many physical varieties: short, tall, fat, thin. Their eyes are what set them apart, for the stars are reflected in them. In the dark, their eyes will shine with the light of the stars that they have gazed on so deeply. They usually wear robes or other ceremonial clothing.
- Keiki iki are different from normal children. They go off by themselves and stare for hours at the stars, the waves, and the trees. They feel a calling they cannot put words to yet.
- Kanaka are questioners. They ask “why” of many things (careful, however, not to break taboo in doing so).
- Kumu are calmer and know their place in life. Many of their questions have been answered, and they spend their days knowing more fully what they already know.
Kahunas like to seek out sacred or naturally pure places to meditate. It is in these quiet places that nature and the gods show their wills. Wisdom can come in many forms: the leap of a fish, the fall of the rain on palm leaves, the dance of a bird in the morning. A kahuna is ever watchful for the omens about them.
Birthrights & Frailty Edit
- Affinity: Nature
- Break Taboo: A kahuna may break a taboo and get away with it. This may only be done once per month and must not be done with disrespect. There must be a good reason to break the taboo. The kahuna spends one Glamour point. If they do not, then Kapu’akua will chase them.
- Spirit Speech: All kahuna can speak with spirits and understand their languages. Other Menehune can only understand their particular totems, but the kahuna can speak and listen to all spirits.
- Omen: A kahuna’s ability to hear spirits sometimes distracts them from the world at hand as they catch stray whispers from the other world. These often cause trances in which the kahuna attempts to divine some omen out of the stray words brought on the wind.
Views on Others Edit
- Ali'i: Our chiefs are mighty. Without their mana, we would be a poor people indeed. Only they can protect the magic of the people… with our help.
- Hana: They work within the will of nature, forming and shaping the world as necessary. All is right.
- Kokua: Competitive and noisy, but necessary to protect us from outsiders.
- Kithain: They are a very divided people. Their commoners do not respect the nobility, and their nobility do not respect the commoners.