I first heard the story about night marchers when I was ten years old from a babysitter in Hawaii. Her name was Calina and she was a local to Big Island of Hawaii. We were driving around the hotel in Hawaii in a golf cart and I asked her what was up with all the golf cart paths having random paths of lava rock going from the top of the mountain all the way to the ocean? She told me that those were night marcher paths and ancient Hawaii tales calls for locals to not disturb the path of the night Marchers. She told me that the night Marchers were a folktale that many Hawaiians truly believe in. She said that the ancient Hawaiian spirits carry flaming torches and drums and go down the mountain from the very top and then when they reach the ocean they disappear. The Night Marchers followed a path they have for centuries and people claim to have seen the Night Marchers or heard them in the night. She said the only chance for a Night Marcher coming out is if it is on a full moon. She never really spoke about the dangers of Night Marchers, but if seen on their path you are supposed to strip of all clothing and urinate in a circle so they would just ignore you.
Informant: This folk was told to me by my youngest brother Zach. He heard this story from a babysitter he was very close with and often saw when we went to Hawaii. Zach couldn’t remember the exact story that Calina told him but relayed the version that he knew. To this day whenever there is a full moon in Hawaii, Zach recalls the story. It is a piece of folklore that has resonated with him and he has been able to connect with.
Analysis: Hawaii is an island very aware of their actions toward their homeland. The Hawaiians are extremely spiritual towards all living things and believe that the beautiful nature that God has blessed them with should stay intact and not polluted. I believe this ancient story is a way for Hawaiians to share their culture in an easy and intimidating way. Spreading the Hawaiian vibe of not messing with the land is seen in this story through people not covering up ancient pathways. Elders could tell younger generations about this story to teach the importance of not messing with sacred grounds and respecting what was present before you. Hawaii is unique in the way I haven’t heard much other folklore that scares people away from messing with the beautiful land, but I guess that’s why the island is so beautiful.