MYTHOLOGY OF THE SHARK
Sharks are the natural choice for mythological figures and awesome tales, since they are steeped in mystery, well-known and feared amongst many. While they are particularly common features of Hawaiian folklore, they have also been included in the mythology of the Australian Aboriginal people as well as the Indonesian tribes and the Indians of North America. There are even some accounts of sharks in Greek mythology.
In Hawaiian mythology, there were several main shark gods. It was commonly believed that, when a person died, their family could offer the corpse to become a shark. The dead body was then believed to make a slow transformation into a shark, and the kahuna (a priest, sorcerer or magician) would then tell the family that specific markings on a shark's body corresponded to the clothing worn by the deceased. The family would put great trust in this particular shark to steer fish into their nets as well as to deter danger and even to harm and kill their personal enemies. This was known as the family's "aumakua", and it was called by the name of the deceased.
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