HAWAIIAN Spirits and Superstitions

By
Real Estate Agent with Century 21 Liberty Homes RS-#62825

 

Another Localism Featured Post!......By Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman

The Hawaiian people and many different ethnic groups living in Hawaii are highly superstitious and believe in the spirits of their ancestors who walked the lands of our islands.  The history of Hawaii tells of our great warriors in battle and traveling along the paths along the ridges of mountains and valleys between them to get to the ocean.  They are called the "Night Marchers". They can be seen carrying torches to light their way along places where there were battlefields as well. 

I have been a resident of Hawaii since 1967 and I have lived the majority of my life on Oahu in Mililani although I have also lived in Waipahu, Pearlridge and in Waipio Gentry. While residing in Pearlridge (from 2002-2005) I really started researching the area because we lived on the top of the mountain (along Onikiniki Ridge and hiking trail) and half the land was Restricted Preservation land.  Our home sat between two valleys and mountains.  I JUST KNEW that this had to be some kind of pathway of the Hawaiian Warriors to the ocean. I was right!

We had someone come "bless" our home immediately after moving in and he told us this was the direct path of the the Chief leading his warriors down to the ocean. I was wondering why late at night I could hear the faint beating of drums. He chanted and dipped ti leaves in blessed water all over our house. He also told us if we are going to throw any branches and leaves from yard work into the valley to ask permission first. Do not throw trash that will not go back into the land!  So much to consider!

As you know, the islands have very little buildable land because a lot of it is State and Government owned and zoned Restricted Preservation and Conservation which I wrote about in Hawaii (Oahu) Zoning, Special Use and Building Permits.  Well, the majority of our burial sites were unmarked graves and there are also "Heiau's" (burial sites surrounded and marked with stones) that were preserved all over our islands as well.  So. Guaranteed we are on all kinds of burial grounds.

With that in mind.....whenever construction or digging occurs and they find remains or bones...BY LAW...all work ceases and they are required to call in archeologists and Burial Council Officials to inspect the remains.  Construction has been known to be halted for quite some time until they can relocate the bones to a proper burial place. 

Bottom line. We follow certain "rules" so as not to upset the spirits such as:

  • Misfortune will befall anyone who takes away lava rocks from the volcanoes (Pele-the demigod creates and destroys with fire...duh. Volcano eruptions...lava flows) Many tourists have actually mailed them back after bad luck bestowed them!
  • Leave everything you find in Hawaii...in Hawaii. (better safe than sorry!)
  • To not carry pork over the Pali Highway (King Kamehameha lead his warriors over the Pali in 1795 and also Pele had a turbulent relationship with the demigod Kamapua‘ -a half-man-half-pig-  and the two agreed not to visit each other. If you take pork over the Pali, you are taking a piece of Kamapua‘a from one side to the other, and Pele would stop that from happening. Your car stops, breaks down.
  • Bachi-Japanese term for "bad luck". What goes around comes around and if you abuse someone else's spirit or soul negative consequences will become you. If you hand out good you get it back as well.
  • Every bad occurence comes in threes. This actually happened to me about 12 years ago. Within one month I almost got hit by a car...the person I was with grabbed by arm and pulled me out of the way. Two days later at the same spot there was a dead cat that looked like my tabby cat. (it wasn't). Two days after that....one block down on the same street I was a pedestrian on the sidewalk (waiting for the walk light to change) and I was hit by a drunk driver that hit the gas instead of the brake. Severely hurt and took me many months to recuperate.
  • Feng Shui (pronounced fung shway) is a discipline and a way of arranging structures according to rules of the environment. Example: I will position by bed so my feet are not facing the door. My back is not faced to the door when I am sitting at my desk.  If you face your back or feet to the door it will allow the negative forces to enter through you. I have a little book for placement of furniture in the home, colors in the home etc. I don't know a whole lot but Chinese sure do!

These are just a few examples of the Hawaiian folklore, legends and superstions as well as a couple of other oriental ones. There are so many here because of many ethnic groups and culture that make up our local population here. It is interesting, mysterious and mind boggling. But will you take the chance of upsetting the spirits?

 

Couple of other articles to read that may interest you as well as the virtual tour of Hawaii!  Enjoy!

Blogging about "VOG" in Hawaii

Visitor and Newcomer Safety Tips for Hawaii!

Come View Paradise....

 

 

    OF HAWAII!

Posted by

                                                       

 

Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman  is a Realtor-Associate® and Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) with Century 21 Liberty Homes in Mililani, Hawaii. With a sharp understanding that a listening ear is the key to a client's needs  she serves the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) and all Hawaii Military Relocations, Hawaii Retirees, Hawaii Job Transfers and Hawaii Residents, Home Buyers and Sellers.

 

 © 2007-2014 Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman's

Hawaii Real Estate and Relocation Blog.

All rights reserved.

     

 


 

 

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Comments 34 New Comment

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Rainmaker
148,368
Judi Morgan
San Antonio, TX Real Estate
Kimberly Howell Properties
Sally, I love reading your posts and I love Hawaii.  Haven't been to your Island yet, only have visited Maui.  Hope to go back and visit all of the islands. 
May 24, 2007 10:17 AM
Rainmaker
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Stephanie Edwards-Musa
knitwit at thred UP
thredUP.com
You always come up with the neatest stuff to write about!
May 24, 2007 10:36 AM
Ambassador
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
RA, CRS, Hawaii Mililani Oahu Real Estate
Century 21 Liberty Homes

Cyndee:  You have bunches in your blogging bank and believe it or not YOU are one of the ones who inspire me for informational kind of stuff.....I know this was a weird subject for some...but you know what? It's stuff to consider when visiting a place that is different.

Randy: When I found the pic I said oh wow cool.  It's actually Kamehameha leading his warriors right over the pali and a few of them falling off!

Neal:  Yes, we relate everything to the Brady Bunch here too.  Darn...you watched that too? Haha! 

Teri:  You too?  Okay, guys. At least the tiki thing may have been on the same wave length but that's it.  Anyway, interesting and this is only a teeny bit of what you would learn here!

 

May 24, 2007 11:04 AM
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
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Century 21 Liberty Homes

BB:  Strange, mysterious and oh so fun here!  If you two come I'll take you to a luau.  That'll be fun...I have never been to the Polynesian Cultural Center....never wanted to ....but I would if I had company who would be fun...haha!

TLW:  I sure would love to meet you two.  The writing speaks of the souls of people...you two are wonderful REAL people.

May 24, 2007 11:07 AM
Rainer
131,594
Lysa Napolitano
Sally, awesome! There are so many legends there and I grew to respect the legends as well as the Hawaiian culture. One day I'll tell you about the time I picked up a 1 day outter island tour at HNL from the Big Island, yep, one of the tourists was carrying lava rock w/o Pele's permission...
May 24, 2007 02:43 PM
Ambassador
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
RA, CRS, Hawaii Mililani Oahu Real Estate
Century 21 Liberty Homes
Lysa:  I found a new way of writing for consumers...give em the inside scoop on Hawaii...another localism feature...woohoo!  Uh Oh....and what happened?
May 24, 2007 12:05 PM
Anonymous #21
Anonymous
Anonymous

Hi Sally.

 I LOVE the Hawaiian culture.  I must have been Hawaiian in a past life!  Anyhow, I think I've been to the place in the second picture on this blog post.  My brother-in-law (who lives in Ewa Beach on Oahu) took us to a place that looked like this.  If I recall correctly, it was a worship site.

I can't wait for my next trip back to Hawaii!

May 24, 2007 12:43 PM
Rainmaker
148,368
Judi Morgan
San Antonio, TX Real Estate
Kimberly Howell Properties
Lysa, ok, you started what sounds like an interesting story -- now, we need to know the rest of the story!
May 24, 2007 12:46 PM
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
RA, CRS, Hawaii Mililani Oahu Real Estate
Century 21 Liberty Homes

 Anonymous writer:  This is the Puu o Mahuka Heaiau (temple, burial site.....human sacrifice site...maybe...and one of two places where ancient chiefs wives gave birth) on the north shore on Pupukea mountain....

May 24, 2007 01:00 PM
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Sally~ 

I noticed that this post was featured at Localism.com. I can see why! The energy you contributed to this post and the information it provides both shine! Congratulations!

May 24, 2007 08:40 PM
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
RA, CRS, Hawaii Mililani Oahu Real Estate
Century 21 Liberty Homes

Judi:  Get Lysa to respond and not leave us hanging!

janeAnne: Thanks so much ...nice to do one that has so much info ....I thought to myself...so if I were the consumer looking at this site...what would I like to know about Hawaii besides just the market and how great I am (kidding on that) and then stuff started flying out of me!

May 24, 2007 08:50 PM
Rainmaker
148,368
Judi Morgan
San Antonio, TX Real Estate
Kimberly Howell Properties

Sally, we love reading the stuff that starts flying out you!   hahaha 

May 24, 2007 09:47 PM
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
RA, CRS, Hawaii Mililani Oahu Real Estate
Century 21 Liberty Homes

Judi:  I gotta get over to yours and see what's going on...busy day

May 24, 2007 10:49 PM
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Jeff Dowler CRS
Carlsbad CA Homes for Sale (760) 840-1360
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Fascinating, Sally. Thanks for sharing all this information. Such a unique place. Great pics, too.

Jeff

May 26, 2007 12:43 AM
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
RA, CRS, Hawaii Mililani Oahu Real Estate
Century 21 Liberty Homes
Jeff: I thought it would be good to give some info because people do not realize when they come to a place like Hawaii there may be some things that aren't good to do!
May 26, 2007 11:50 AM
Rainmaker
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Randy Prothero
Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645
Island Style Realty Inc.
Those falling off the cliff are his enemies being pushed off.  My friend has a limited edition of that painting on his wall.  That is one of my all time favorites.  The artist, Herb Kane has done most of the famous battles.
May 27, 2007 03:23 AM
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
RA, CRS, Hawaii Mililani Oahu Real Estate
Century 21 Liberty Homes

There are conflicting stories of the 800 plus warriors (in 1897 when they were building Pali Hwy. the excavators found about 800 skulls and they "guess" that there were more) who lost their lives...either jumping to escape, or during battle...both sides lost lives.  In the end of course Kamehameha won over the Oahu Forces... Anyway, found a clearer picture...

May 27, 2007 12:10 PM
Rainmaker
605,739
Sharon Simms
St. Pete FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS
Coastal Properties Group International
Great post, Sally! It's so interesting to learn about the history and customs of an area.
May 27, 2007 06:17 PM
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
RA, CRS, Hawaii Mililani Oahu Real Estate
Century 21 Liberty Homes
Sharon: Thanks for popping by....just posted another one and have been doing this all week.  Not only did I brush up on my information I learned more as well!  I took things forgranted living her the majority of my life.
May 27, 2007 06:19 PM
Anonymous #34
Anonymous
Darrylynn Baron

I spent some of my best years there in Hawaii and I heard of some of the things you mention but never knew the whole story about Pele and the demigod kamapau`.  I also heard about a choking ghost in Waikiki. have you?

April 05, 2009 10:02 PM
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman

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