Every so often I like to do illustrations for publications such as Sage Woman. This time around I did two illustrations for an article about Pueo, a Hawaiian owl guardian deity. I had never heard of this deity before so it was interesting doing research for these illustrations. In the article, the woman who wrote it talks about her experience with an encounter with Pueo while in Hawaii. It is a short but powerful story which brilliantly portrays how much of a protector Pueo actually is.
Pueo is a Hawaiian owl who is viewed as a guardian God who protects his followers. It is believed that after the death of an ancestor, the spirit could protect the remaining family by acting through the body of an animal such as an owl, shark, turtle or any other animal. Pueo is said to be one of the oldest manifestations of these guardian spirits which are called Aumakua. An Aumakua has the ability to guide, inspire and protect its descendants.
In my research of Pueo, I learned that this owl inhabited the Hawaiian islands well before the arrival of the first Polynesians. This owl, unlike other species of owl, likes to be active during the day. It is also sadly an endangered species on the islands. Owls have been revered as divine beings in many cultures and traditions around the world. It’s always viewed as an esoteric being who is associated with wisdom and spirits. Owls are not active where I live, but I know whenever I do see one in the future, I will think of Pueo.
Thank you to Anne of Sage Woman for the opportunity to illustrate this article!