Hunter-Gatherer: Questions with Kau’ilani Morehead

Hunter-Gatherer: Questions with Kau’ilani Morehead

This is Part 2 of the Hunter-Gatherer Journey. If you missed the introductory post, you can find it here.

It has been a real pleasure getting to know a young man who lives the Hunter-Gatherer Lifestyle. He has reminded me of some facts from my childhood as well as expanded the focus to include more weaponry and thought patterns.

Kau’ilani Morehead has been on Bushcraft Buildoff and taught throughout the United States. Not only has he taught but has been taught by some great Hunter-Gatherers and spent much time with folks like Matt Graham.

I wanted to dive a little deeper into the mindset and Kau’i fully agreed to answer my questions:

Kau’i showing how to add a homemade point based on what you are hunting

IS: How long have you lived a hunter-gatherer lifestyle?

KM: I’ve lived a hunter-gather like lifestyle since small kid times. It was something we grew up with learning, while still living a somewhat conventional life as well.

IS: What is your definition of a hunter-gatherer?

KM: I define a hunter-gatherer as someone who lives close to the earth, hunts and forages for their meals. Some live a completely submersed life while some go back and forth. 

IS: What do you mean by some go back and forth?

KM: When I say folks who go back and forth, what I’m meaning by that is there truly isn’t a 100% 24/7 hunter gatherer anymore. There’s just too many laws and the times have just changed. There’s people like me for instance, who utilize the land and its resources everyday. I go on long walk abouts using tools that our ancestors used. I’m in the woods everyday practicing ancestral skills. But I still live in a house part time and still work a job.

IS: Ah, that makes sense. Well, what made you choose such a lifestyle?

KM: I chose this lifestyle because it kept me close to my roots as well as a healthier life.

IS: How does it give you a healthier life?

KM: A lifestyle like our ancestors is just healthier! The food eaten is what we were supposed to be eating all along, 100% natural and organic. One is forced to exercise those muscles. But more than that, I believe it’s good for our spirits. We need to get out there and breathe that fresh air, catch a fish, or just sit and listen to the songs of the wild that HE created. I encourage everyone to go out there and see for yourselves. Even if you aren’t going out in a loin cloth and an atlatl, you can still receive the benefits. 

IS: With grocery stores on every corner, do you find it difficult to maintain this lifestyle in today’s society?

KM: It is hard to live a hunter-gatherer lifestyle. With all the laws and [hunting] seasons, and stores close by it gets difficult to live such a life. I believe in a balance of two worlds.

IS: Kind of like Ishi In Two Worlds. What would say is the Number 1 skill to have as a hunter-gatherer?

KM: I think the number one skill to have as a hunter gatherer is knowing how to listen to Papahānaumoku “Mother Earth”. Having the ability to go with the flow rather then fighting her is the best. 

IS: If someone wanted to start this type of lifestyle, where would you suggest they begin?

KM: If someone wanted to start a lifestyle of a hunter-gatherer, I would suggest [they] just go out and do it! Be safe about it but have that childlike sense of wonder and go back to your origins. 

IS: Love that answer. Would you tell us about your best day as a hunter-gatherer? An outing that really impacted you positively.

KM: It’s always a memorable experience going out on the land. One of them was a trip I took to boulder Utah with a friend who lives there. Just being out amongst the ancient villages making atlatls I could literally see these ancient people living their daily lives pretty cool. 

Kau’i making an atlatl

IS: I’m sure that was a great trip. Would you tell us about your worst day as a hunter gatherer? One that you pray you would never ever have to live through again.

KM: There really isn’t a day I regret being out on the land. There have  been times where my life was in danger, but they make for great stories! 

IS: Maybe you’ll share one of those with the readers someday. If the folks wanted to learn more about Kau’ilani Morehead, where could they find more information about you and the hunter-gatherer lifestyle?

KM: If someone wanted to learn more about my life and how I balance these two worlds, they can find me on Instagram @kau_i or Facebook @Kau’ilani Morehead, or on the Flint and Steel Critical Skills Group website and social media. 

IS: On a closing note, do you have any final thoughts that you want to leave with the readers?

KM: My final thought would be, we all come from a long line of hunter-gatherers. We rely on our grandmother for life. Take care of her and she will take care of you. Be the ancestors of the next generation, Kū Ha’aheo “stand tall”.

IS: Great words to live by. Thank you again, brother.

Again, I want to thank Kau’ilani for his willingness to play Q&A with me.  I look forward to getting in the woods to hunt with you brother. I look forward to your journey westward and spending more time with you in the Rockies. Be safe for sure. And thank you for all you have taught me.

Until then,

Use your instincts to survive