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Chapter Contents:


The Footprints chapter is for telling stories concerning places and place names. These are the marks left on the landscape not only by those who came before, but in some cases by gods and supernatural beings as they travelled this land.

In Kawaihae, the loss of population over 200 years and the lack of recorded history has left no place-based stories that anyone can recall. However, the village is rich in stories of phenomena and practices associated with the old ways, many of which are unique to Hawaiian culture. Here are some of these footprints that the ancestors left behind.



‘Aumakua is a type of guardian god that can take the form of specific animals and other phenomena. Kawaihae residents share stories from their elders, particularly about owl (pueo) and shark (mano) ‘aumakua.

Night Marchers
Kawaihae is one place in the Hawaiian islands known to be on the path of night marchers. This ghostly retinue of deceased ancestors is said to march from Honokoa gulch through what used to be Kawaihae village.

Aside from the night marchers, there are many other stories of ghostly visitations in the Kawaihae area. Residents discuss such events, and how they and their relatives have dealt with them.

Akualele is a type of Hawaiian magic in which a fireball is sent to harm or kill another person. Kawaihae elders clearly remember various incidents in which these fireballs were seen, and the methods used to disperse them.

Elder Kawaihae residents tell stories of cave burials that used to be conducted, wherein the deceased of the village were taken by boat down to Puako and laid to rest in secret caves. Mel tells of his grandmother's grave and of the trip to bring his grandfather's body home from Honolulu.


Terms relating to stories and storytelling, morality, supernatural beings, and aspects of culture.


Sources & Links
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Bibliography and Sources


‘Aumakua |  Night Marchers  |  Ghosts |  Akualele |  Burials  |  Language |  Sources & Links
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