Beware of Night Marchers

Kukuihaele means 'light that comes and goes' in Hawaiian, referring to the huakaʻipo ('night marchers') – torch-bearing ghosts of Hawaiian warriors who pass through Kukuihaele to Waipiʻo. As the legend goes, if you look at the night marchers or get in their way, you die. Survival is possible if one of your ancestors is a marcher – or if you lie face down on the ground.

Waipi‘o Valley Mythology

Waipi‘o Valley is considered sacred for many supernatural and regal reasons. Not only was this where the god Lono wooed his beautiful maiden Kaikilani and King Kamehameha I received the war god Ku, but it was also where the progenitor gods Kane and Kanaloa debauched themselves on the land’s bounty – including ‘awa. According to legend, Kanaloa (‘the ‘awa-drinker’) and his followers revolted following a prohibition upon the narcotic beverage and were consequently banished to the underworld. The portal to this land of the dead is said to be carved into the steep cliffs above Waipi‘o.

Nanaue, Shark-Man of Waipi‘o Valley

According to legend, Kamohoali‘i, the king of sharks, took human form to marry a beautiful woman, Kalei, who lived in Waipi‘o Valley. Eventually he decided that he must return to the sea, but she was pregnant with their child. He told her to deliver their child, a son, alone and to prevent him from ever eating animal flesh. The baby was born with a strange deformity, a shark's mouth on his back. She named him Nanaue and kept him from eating meat until he came of age. Men and women ate separately, and he ended up eating meat with the other men.

He developed a voracious appetite. When swimming in the ocean, Nanaue would secretly transform into a shark that devoured humans. People would go missing. Eventually they saw the great shark's mouth on his back and realized that discovered that he was a shapeshifter. To avoid their wrath, he took shark form and escaped to Maui.