Kuleana: To Exercise Your Authority and Carry Out Your Responsibility

Our HCC Hawaiian Value of this month is Kuleana.

As far as I can remember, my father used the phrase kuleana in the context of “it’s your job” or “that is your kuleana.”  Clearly it is about responsibility.

Considering my limited knowledge and appreciating knowing what I don’t know, I thought I would talk to Keli`i Wilson of the HTA as she is the person at HTA that has an in-depth knowledge of the language and the Hawaiian culture.

I asked Keli`i what the Hawaiian context was relative to kuleana, once again, in one word, responsibility, but, an interesting perspective was, to who is your kuleana, not what is your kuleana.  As she explained it to me, in the family structure, the eldest had a responsibility to the youngsters and the youngsters had a responsibility to the elders, it was a responsibility to…

When you think about that, we can better define what kuleana means and the “to” will shape the “what.”

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