Hawaiian Medicine and Western Laws

A grievously ill native Hawaiian woman seeks the service of a kahuna (Hawaiian physician), who claims to have secret powers over life and death. Under the kahuna’s prescription, the ill woman sprays a concoction of ti and awa leaves and brandy around her room to chase away the spirits, but instead died.

Now the kahuna is under arrest as a section of the penal code states, “any person who shall attempt the cure of another by practice of sorcery, witchcraft or any other superstitious or deceitful methods shall upon conviction be liable to punishment.”

Read about this attempt to cure an illness through tradition and when tradition clashes with Western laws in “A Kahuna Case.”


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