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Book: Indigenous Religious Traditions in Five Minutes

Chapter: 69. What are ancestor spirits, and what role do they play in Hawaiian religious life?

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.43184


Ancestral spirits termed ʻaumākua play a significant role in Hawaiian religious life, and speak to the Hawaiian belief that death can never truly separate the living from the dead. ʻAumākua are a category of akua (deities), some of whom may take the form or flora or fauna, or elemental phenomena.

Chapter Contributors

  • Marie Alohalani Brown ( - mabrown) 'University of Hawaiʻi-Mānoa'