Monday, January 20, 2014

The Hawaiian Night Marchers


Night Marchers / Huaka'i Po : Night Marchers are Hawaiian ghostly apparitions who move around the Hawaiian islands to the beat of primitive pounding drums. Some say they are armed spirit warriors, toting weaponry and clothed in ancient Hawaiian attire. Other accounts tell of high-ranking alii (ruler) spirits being guided to places of great importance or to welcome new warriors to join in battle. Maybe these restless souls are looking to reclaim their territory, replay a battle gone awry, or avenge their own deaths. Some say the Night Marchers are searching methodically for an entrance into the next world.
Huaka'i Po / Night Marchers are said to roam through very specific locations throughout the Hawaiian islands, between seashore and mountains and are often recognized by their raised torches and repeated olis, or chants. Although there have been a few scattered reports of daytime marches, these apparitions appear to be most active at night and are said to march on certain nights designated by the moon. And although the Night Marchers allegedly float a few inches off the ground, some local accounts tell of seeing mysterious footprints in their path after they’ve passed.
There are two different processions, it seems, according to legend, who march on two separate nights.  The first consists of kings, chieftains, priests, and their attendants.  Each chief is carried in a sling, befitting his station, though the warrior chiefs are prone to walk between two of their warriors.  They are most often reported near old temples, with flutes and drums heralding them, as well as laughter.
The second type of procession is seen just after sunset and lasts until sunrise the next morning.  Comprised of warriors, chiefs, and the gods themselves, this phenomenon is marked by high winds that seem to snap branches off trees, with bright torches to honor the gods.  They are also often associated with sudden lightning storms and rough surf. 
Legend has it, meeting their eyes will result in them claiming the soul of yourself, relatives or friends and taking it with them to march for all eternity. Any sound or movement could invite a Night Marcher’s deadly glance.

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