The night marchers


Informant: “So in Hawaiian culture, there are these- not creatures but spirits I guess and they are called the night Marchers. A lot of people hear them on Oahu around nu’uanu–Or at least this is what I grew up knowing because I am from Oahu– so in nu’uanu kinda by Manoa where University of Hawaii is in the valley, it is a very sacred area especially deep in the valley. So these night Marchers, they are Hawaiian spirits that are there to protect the land and usually they are there protecting bones like the bones of chiefs. The legend is that you are not supposed to whistle at night because if you whistle then you are like summoning the night Marchers. Usually when you summon the night Marchers you hear drums and you’ll hear like stomping, like uniform stomping. And you are supposed to just get on the ground and close your eyes until you don’t hear drumming because if you don’t, then I’m pretty sure it’s like you are challenging them like if you stand up and are facing them with your eyes open…and you will lose.”


Age: 19

From: Oahu, HI

Her relationship with this piece is personal since she is in close ties with her ethnicity. It is something she actually learned in school where they taught Hawaiian culture, history, etc. She interprets it as just a story to tell with doubt that it will happen. There is a very low percentage of her experiencing it first hand, but she is glad that she will know what to do. She says her friends always forget that you aren’t supposed to whistle, so they immediately stop when they realize. 


I do not really know what to think of this because I want to respect Hawaiian culture, but I find this very hard to believe. When I went to Hawaii recently, I stayed with a bunch of locals and I remember they actively and consciously avoided whistling at night. Right after they realized that they were whistling, it was not a big deal, they would just say “oops” and stop. I feel like if this was something so important, then the tourists should know it as well to respect the land.