Legends of Hawaii: Night Marchers

By October 22, 2018About Hawaii, Kolea, Legends

Hawaii is well known for its beautiful beaches, varying landscapes, relaxing island living, and of course our vacation rentals in Kolea! Not many vacationers realize, however, that from the times of ancient Hawaii to our modern day, there are several legends that have been passed down that relate to the culture and lifestyle of the native people. One such legend is that of the night marchers.

The Legend

Night marchers, known as the huaka‘i po in Hawaiian, are the ghosts of centuries-old warriors who still roam and haunt the islands today. They mostly only surface on special days honoring different Hawaiian gods throughout the year where the spirits of dead soldiers rise from their graves or from the ocean and march in groups to gather at sacred spots or battlegrounds throughout the island chain.

These spirit soldiers are said to be the size of a normal man, and they are in battle gear, equipped with weapons and other warfaring devices. They hover above the ground and sea, and they march in the dark of night until the sun begins to rise, at which time they return to their graves or the sea to await the celebration of another Hawaiian god. The only time a night marcher may be seen in the day is if they are escorting a dying relative out of this life and into the next.

The night marchers strike fear into the hearts of the people because of how they interact with mortals. If any man looks upon a night marcher, the night marcher supposes the mortal a defiant, which is punishable by a violent death, and you are made to join the ranks as a night marcher yourself for eternity. There are two ways to avoid the terrible consequence of death by a night marcher. The first is if one of your ancestors is marching with the group upon which you are looking, the family member can ensure that you are spared. The second is that you may lay motionless with your face on the ground to show them proper respect and fear. They may try to nudge you or prod you, but you must avoid eye contact or motion at all cost, and your life will be spared.

How the Legend of the Huaka’i Po Started

The Hawaiian Islands were fraught with history and battles long before the island chain was incorporated into the United States in 1959. Civil wars and other violent conflicts are etched into the fabric of Hawaii’s existence and gives rise to the notion that the many men who have died in any of these conflicts still protect the islands and call them home. While the origins of the night marchers are difficult to pinpoint, it is easy enough to speculate that the legend arose much like any other ghost story. It could have risen out of entertainment for children and families. The night marchers could also have been constructed as a cautionary tale to warn the original inhabitants of Hawaii, who believed strongly in culture and family, to reverence and honor those who died protecting their families. What we know for sure, however, is that the night marchers legend still lives on in the hearts of the Hawaiian people today, shaping the way they live and revere certain customs and cultures that have been passed down through years of tradition.

Your Vacation to Hawaii

Night marchers and legends aside, your vacation to Hawaii is sure to expose you to a whole new way of experiencing relaxation, mixed with plenty of other things to do around the island. Come to the Big Island today where you can stay at our Kolea vacation rentals in Waikoloa Village. Whether you are looking for adventure, relaxation, or to simply experience Hawaiian culture at its finest, you are sure to be pleased with everything you can do while you stay here. Call us today or reserve your next Hawaiian vacation rental online today.