In Hawaiian mythology, an ʻ aumakua ( / / ; often spelled aumakua ) is a family god, often a deified ancestor. The Hawaiian plural of ʻ aumakua is nā ʻ aumākua ( [naːˈʔɐumaːˈkuwə] ), although in English the plural is usually ʻ aumakuas . Nā ʻ aumākua frequently manifested as animals such as sharks or owls. Nā ʻ aumākua were worshipped at localities (often rocks) where they were believed to "dwell". The appearance of an animal one regarded as an ʻ aumakua was often believed to be an omen (of good or ill). There are also many stories of nā ʻ aumākua (in animal form) intervening to save their descendants from harm. It was extremely bad luck to harm a manifested ʻ aumakua.
Some families had many ʻ aumakua. Mary Kawena Pukui's family had at least fifty known ʻ aumakua.
Nā ʻ aumākua were thus animals, places or rocks, and people. Ancient Hawaiians would have seen no contradiction in a powerful spirit being able to appear as all three, switching from form to form as convenient—as is indeed seen in many stories of gods and demigods.
A symbiotic relationship exists between person and ʻ aumakua, the personal guardians of each individual and their family and the ancient source gods from whom Hawaiians were descended.
ʻ Aumakua can manifest in nature. The form varies family to family. Whatever its form, the ʻ aumakua is one specific shark, owl, etc. However, all members of the species are treated with respect of family members.
If family ʻ aumakua, these manifestations were not harmed or eaten; in turn, ʻ aumakua warned and reprimanded in dreams, visions, and calls.
" ʻ Aumākua are intimate members of the human family, spiritual relationships with them are especially close and their presence is sought for feast and festivity, as well as in time of crisis. They act as healers and advisors, counteracting troubles and punishing faults." - J. Gutmanis
ʻ Aumākua could appear as:
- honu ( turtle)
- mo'o ( gecko)
- pueo , owl (as at Manoa, O ʻ ahu, Kau and Puna)
- manō , shark (all islands except Kaua ʻ i)
- ʻ alalā , crow (island of Hawai ʻ i) 
- ʻ io , hawk (on island of Hawai ʻ i)
- ʻ elepaio , monarch flycatcher (also the goddess of canoe makers)
- ʻ i ʻ iwi , honeycreeper (whose feathers were used extensively in featherwork)
- ʻ alae ʻ ula ,  Hawaiian gallinule (whose cry was considered a bad omen)
- he ʻ e , octopus
- puhi , eel
- ʻ iole li ʻ ili ʻ i , mouse
- ʻ iole , rat
- ʻ īlio , dog
- mo ʻ o , lizard, or dragon
- pe ʻ elua / ʻ enuhe / nuhe / ʻ anuhe / poko , caterpillar
- pōhaku , rock
- leho , cowry
- ao , cloud
- mea kanu , plant
The Aumakua appear as protection deities in the Luke Coles Book Series, by Josh Walker.