Pueo are one of the most important and beloved Aumakua of Native Hawaiians and many local people in Hawai’i. Au means far traveling and makua means ancestors. Aumakua are considered ancestral guardian spirits or deified ancestors, healers, communicators, family guides and protectors. Aumakua are honored as part of the family. While often one specific pueo or shark, etc. is considered the aumakua, the entire species is highly regarded and protected. There is surprisingly little known about the beautiful pueo, and less known about its population and current conservation status. The kupuna say that there were huge numbers of pueo in the 1800’s.