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Abad on traditional Hawaiian leadership (Feb. 25 & Feb. 28)


Dr. Kehaunani Abad will present a Hawaiian perspective on the alii in a Puana Ka Ike lecture in Kona and an Eia Hawaii presentation in Hilo.

Abad will speak on “Ku Alii: There’s more to traditional Hawaiian leadership than we might think” 5:30–7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25 at the Keauhou Beach Resort, Kahaluu II Ballroom, in Kona and noon-1:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 28, at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, UCB 127.

Kehau Abad

Abad will share aspects of her research on the ruling alii of Hawaii, Maui, Oahu, and Kauai during the 23 generations ending at the time of Kamehameha Paiea. Abad’s research offers new insights into alii activities such as marriages, political alliances, warfare, and heiau construction.

Also evident is a high-functioning, artful level of Hawaiian leadership — an evolved sense of ku alii that may be considered one of the most complex Hawaiian innovations. Such understandings shed light on alii actions at critical junctures in Hawaiian history and provide guidance for Hawaiian leadership in the 21st century.

Abad was raised in Waianae and has ancestral roots that can be traced to Kohala. She received her academic training in Hawaiian Studies, archaeology, and ethnohistory, completing her doctoral studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2000.

Her research focuses on pre-contact Hawaii as understood through Hawaiian ethnohistorical sources and Hawaiian perspectives. Abad regularly works with Hawaiian grassroots and formal organizations on historic preservation and burial matters, advocating on their behalf in academic, legislative, and judicial settings. She is the director of Kamehameha Publishing.

For more information on Abad’s presentations, contact Joy Cunefare at 808-534-8528 or e-mail

For lecture schedules and webcasts of previous lectures, visit… and…

The Puana Ka Ike and Eia Hawaii lecture series are presented in partnership with Keauhou-Kahaluu Education Group of Kamehameha Schools, The Kohala Center, the Kipuka Native Hawaiian Student Center at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, and Keauhou Beach Resort.

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