nights at sunset and just before dawn, the ghosts of ancient Hawaiian warriors,
the night marchers or huakai-po, are said to rise from their burial sites and
march through the Hawaiian countryside to battles long past or other sacred
destinations. They may also appear during the day to escort a dying relative to
the spirit world.
happen across such a march, you will first hear drums in the distance and smell
a rotten stench. Then you will hear a conch shell being blown, as an announcement
of the deathly procession and a warning to get out of the way. You will see
torches that get brighter and brighter as the marchers approach.
you must not look at the ghosts as they pass by, as seeing them and being seen
by them spells death. Instead, you must lie down on your stomach and stare at
the ground to avoid eye contact, be quiet and not move. If it is possible, the
best thing to do is to simply leave the area before the procession comes close.
However, if an ancestor of yours is among the marchers and they recognize you,
you need not worry. He or she will call out “Na’u!” (“Mine!”), and none of the
marchers will harm you.
The night marchers
are the vanguard for a sacred chief whom commoners must never lay their eyes upon
– to do so is to invite immediate death.