I have to be very careful this time not to make too many enemies as I did with my first try. So let me start this off with a little introduction. I am of the latest generation of my bloodline (which at last I counted was walking into the 22nd). I descend from a very distinguished line of former kings and rulers of the Samoan Islands (as do many of countrymen). The cultural aspect of life is where the supernatural practices are most evident. Oral stories of great people and great wars amongst the Samoa's and other Pacific nations forged our identity. Wars that helped shape not only who we are as a people but also solidifying our identity as the people of the sun. In our cultural upbringing, we are taught of the traditions and taboos. The clash of course is when it comes to our western education; the cultural aspect tends to lose its meaning because of western values. But we continue to enforce the meanings of these because most taboos are based in very very true events.
I have read in many accounts posted here of skin walkers, or demons, or even dopplegangers. In Samoan culture in fact all of these accounts describe one type of supernatural being. We call it the AITU. (AH-EE_TWO). The Aitu are classified into many subgroups but the three most dangerous and malevolent are the Aitu (Specter) the Sauai (more physical in manifestations and will harm you physically) and the Aitu-lua (the half human). These three entities are most feared and often seen of all the forms of the Aitu. The Aitu, or specter has the ability to invade your dreams, cloud your senses, and even sound like you. It is often playful but is not to be toyed with.
The Sauai (sah-ooh-ahh-eee), is one that has made his/her mark throughout history. Kidnapping, mass murder, even mocking the Religious movement when they first sought to establish branches here on the islands. These very real beings were often seen and served by the locals when they walked with us in physical form. Nowadays, they are seen and sensed at events for families (as their main function is as protector to bloodlines). If the family is doing something wrong or the cession of a very important chieftain title is not done correctly, you will see them appear or someone will be possessed in order to be it's mouth piece to plead its case. The Sauai is also known to take on not only a human form but also other elements such as fire, water, trees...etc...
Aitu-lua (Ah-ee-two-loo-uhh). These are humans who are also ethereal I believe the word is. They exist on all planes and are very violent and vengeful. They have black eyes, very pale skin and are noticed by the bright hue of red hair they cannot hide. They are human in view to the plain eye until they are crossed or jealous of someone. Then people can see through the facade (unless you are born with sight, then you can see them regardless.) These people have held important ranks in Samoan history. Kings, warriors, even Queens. Physically, they stand almost superior to you. A little taller than most, a little more built than most, a little more charismatic than most, a little more hungry than most. They have oral histories of these people eating an entire village of people until his own son attempted to become a sacrifice hence stopping his cannibalistic father from further bloodshed. These entities are also said to be direct descendants of the gods. They have the ability to make you sick, take your wife or valued belongings even cause death.
Now that you have an small inside look into my culture, let me begin my next account of an event that happened to me the summer of 1995. I was hunting with 3 of my uncles on land my family owns that is on a mountain side about a 3-5 hour hike depending on the weather. This particular spot was so beautiful. A pond about 20-40 feet in circumference and seems almost bottomless (we never tried to touch its bottom but its pretty deep.) The water is ice cold. The pond is sheltered on three sides by a natural canopy. It looks like something out of a painting. The pond then trickle's down to a stream that flows all the way down the valley of the mountain. The mouth of the stream is a flat plateau approximately 200 feet filled with Samoan Cotton trees (vavae (vuh-vah-aye), fruit tress called Vi (vee) and mangoes and bananas. The bats we were hunting love to roost in the vavae tree as the cotton cones camouflage them. My uncles were hunting with 2 12 gauge shotguns (1double barrel) and a 14 gauge and a 30 aught 6 deer rifle just in case we were to come across wild boar or anything that wasn't friendly.
My uncles spot bats roosting and take positions at the base of the tree. They form a triangle perimeter about 20 paces apart to get maximum blast coverage. They fire off the first volley of rounds and I can hear the bats hit the ground. So I start to gather our hunt as volley after volley is heard. Lasted about 10 minutes before I noticed they had gone silent. I wasn't really paying attention because I thought that they'd taken a break to cool the barrels of the guns. I slowly straighten up to look for them when one of my uncle's uses the army signals we were taught to stay and not move. So now (mind you I was in my early teens and now was beginning to let my fear take over). So I just let my eyes roam to spot where my other uncles had taken position. (mind you, a pyramid perimeter with me at the base, about 50 feet behind me was the pond.) I look left and my uncle with the double barrel started to get into forward observer stance. My uncle to the right had also taken an attack stance which left my uncle in front of me, who also had the deer rifle.
He was slowly approaching me and with his signal hand he was counting down and letting me know to take cover. He took a step and one of his fingers folded (he had five of them up). Step and another finger, 3 left, two, one and I hit the ground covering my ears. I hear them all unload one round each and wait. I get up and shout "what the hell is goi---'' and didn't finish as I was turning around as I was talking. What I saw standing before me, until this day I cannot explain.
For those of you who hunt boar, you know they can grow to a pretty big size (about waist high and weighing about 250-450 lbs or more. The boar I was looking at stood easily at more than five feet (at the time I was about 5'8".) I was downhill from it but I could tell it was pretty tall for something that I could see above many of the natural surroundings. (fallen trees, boulders, the back of the pond which was a mound or rock and trees. Its tusks were sharp and wrapped about 4 rings. Its eyes were a peculiar shade of red (as I could see from my vantage point). The weirdest thing was that we could all hear it breathing hard (as if getting ready to attack) but never seemed to want to move. My uncles then unload another round.
Now for you who don't know about hunting, 12-14 gauge shells can be bought with either pellets or 1-2 or 3 punch style rounds. My uncles left the house with about 12 rounds pellets 12 3 punch each and about 5 30 aught 6 shells. That is 36 pellet rounds and 36 3 punch and 5 which come out to 77 rounds. All the pellet rounds were used for the bats. They unloaded twice on the boar. The boar didn't even move. It was like watching a terminator movie. It just stood there with a defiant look. That was enough to scare my uncles to just pick up and get out of there. (we left about half of the amount of bats we shot that day about 30-40). We followed the stream all the way down until we got to the main road and made our way home which was about 15 minute hike.
That night I could not sleep. I felt as if someone or something had latched on to me and was not happy. So the next morning I went to my Grandmothers house (which is next door by the way). I told her about what we had seen and she told us to drink this elixir made from the bark of a tree. We asked her why and she said it was to sever the tether the sauai had made with us yesterday. She then told us to make amends by going back to the spot and checking to see if we had disturbed anything. She said it could a big rock or blade of grass. All we were to do was to put it back in place and apologize. So my 3 uncles and I make plans to do it the next day as they had work and I had school.
We make our way back up to the pond and are exhausted. More exhausted than we were the day we were there. We felt like we were dragging baggage or we just weighed more. We were beat. I make my way to the pond for a drink when I am told to stop by my uncle. I am too thirsty and just want a sip. Then a thud from my uncles hand hitting my head made me think straight. "Start looking" he said. So I get off my knees and start to the right. Mind you now, there were only the 4 of us up there at this very moment. We did not see anyone coming down the trail or see anyone there when we arrived.
We all split up about 10 paces apart to go through all of the bush and surroundings when we are greeted by an elderly woman who is sitting upon a boulder at the mouth of the pond where the stream begins. "So what are you young men doing up here so early this day?" she asked. My uncle replies, "we are so sorry ma'am, we are here to apologize for trespassing and find what we had disturbed." I, on the other hand, was looking at him like what are you doing.
I get that look from him that we have found who we were looking for. So we all gather around the boulder and sit. The entity laughs, "why the glum faces?" We all look around without making eye contact because in our culture it is considered a sign of disrespect.
"Nothing ma'am, we are members of the Paramount Chiefs bloodline and come to make amends for any wrong doing we might have done to offend you." all of us reply scattered. She/he replies "arise, you had done nothing wrong, I was just watching the hunt. I did not mean to startle you. I was surprised as you turned and tried to hurt me, but I understood that you were also scared."
We all were about to breathe a sigh of relief when her voice changed from sweet to not angry but almost forceful. "You should have known better though. Who taught you manners? Who told you about this place? Who?" She demanded. We replied, "this land is of birthright. We have been to this place from when we were young with our father (my grandfather)."
She then asks my oldest uncle to rise. She looked at him with curiosity then told all of us to rise. "Tell my son (my grandfather), he has done good in raising you. You are always welcome to come here. Feel free to leave "us" some of the hunt if there is enough." She then sent us on our way. We were all looking at the ground for some reason as we turned around. We took maybe 5 or 6 steps before we noticed that there was no evidence of the bats we had left there just 2 days prior. None, no blood, no bones, no maggots, no rotting bats. We turned around to see no one. She just disappeared.
Think about it, we are on a mountain ridge, the only down is in front of us and the ridge takes about 3 hours to scale before you get to the other side. Where did she go?. We really didn't wonder because we had done what we had to do. We also flew down the mountain like we were carried by a force (it took us about a hour and some change).
We got home and told my grandparents and they were relieved. I slept better after that, but that didn't last long. (For another time).