taro farmer • ethnobotanist • seaweed expert • national park ranger • lomilomi massage master • priest of Lono • minister • herbal medicine practitioner • kahu of Royal Mausoleum • archaeologist • hula master • physician • sovereignty advocate • community organizer • chanter • geneaology expert • Hawaiian Studies professor • falsetto singer • master kapa cloth maker • lei making expert • author • master lau hala weaver • Hōkūle‘a crew member • feather artist • Hōkūle‘a captain • man of the sea • artist • Hawaiian historian • canoe maker • wood sculptor • navigator






Voices of Wisdom Hawaiian Elders Speak by MJ Harden

It is a rare privilege to sit at the feet of Hawaiian elders—to hear their stories firsthand. Their wisdom and knowledge are seldom passed beyond family, but now, with this important book, their expertise is available to us all.

They are kahuna, the experts, considered the best in their fields. All are leaders of the cultural renaissance that awakened the Hawaiian spirit in recent decades. These are 24 people who have led lives that matter, and what matters most to them is to keep lit the flame of a culture that nearly died. Through their efforts, Hawaiian culture lives on. They prompted more than a cultural rebirth, they inspired a revival of spirit.

awardVoices of Wisdom Hawaiian Elders Speak was the national first place winner of the “IPPY” (Independent Publishers) Award, besting cultural books from many of America’s biggest university presses. The writing, the book’s design and the Hawaiian subject matter were cited for the win.

Voices of Wisdom was written none too soon. This generation is going and gone.


” . . . a brilliant book of interviews with amazing photographs.”

The Maui News

“The book is emotionally inspiring all the way through.”

Kihei Times

“Beautifully written and very entertaining, a great way to learn Hawaiian culture.”

Maui Visitors Bureau

“Harden has done what scholars often find so difficult: making the past exciting and smoothly linking it to the present.”

The Maui News

“Each chapter represents an encounter—and I mean a good, rich, insightful, thought-provoking encounter—with a different member of this heroic generation.”

Haleakala Times

“These modern-day kahuna have spent their lives preserving Hawaii’s ancient traditions, and they are eager to pass on their wisdom.”

Honolulu Magazine

“Despite their different areas of expertise, the elders all convey a sense of aloha . . . They love what they do, and they want others to share in their joy.”

Hawai’i Magazine