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Encyclopedia > Aumakua

Aumakua is a Hawaiian word meaning family or personal god, often a deified ancestor. The 'aumakua frequently manifested him or herself as an animal, such as a shark or an owl. 'Aumakuas were worshipped, often at localities or rocks where they were believed to 'dwell'. The appearance of an animal one regarded as an 'aumakua was often believed to be an omen, to be noted and interpreted for good or ill. There are also many stories of 'aumakuas, in animal form, intervening to save their descendents from harm. It was extremely bad luck to harm an 'aumakua animal.


'Aumakuas were thus animals, places or rocks, and people. Ancient Hawaiians would have seen no contradiction in a powerful spirit being able to appear as all three, switching from form to form as convenient -- as is indeed seen in many stories of gods and demi-gods.


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  Results from FactBites:
 
Aumakua - definition of Aumakua in Encyclopedia (172 words)
Aumakua is a Hawaiian word meaning family or personal god, often a deified ancestor.
The 'aumakua frequently manifested him or herself as an animal, such as a shark or an owl.
The appearance of an animal one regarded as an 'aumakua was often believed to be an omen, to be noted and interpreted for good or ill. There are also many stories of 'aumakuas, in animal form, intervening to save their descendents from harm.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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