Kupua are Hawaiian demigods with shape-shifting abilities. Due to their transformative abilities and supernatural powers, kupua are described variously as heroes, monsters, or tricksters. Some kupua are known to be destructive and vindictive, with a tendency to kill or devour their enemies. There have also been accounts of kupua acting benevolently as kindly spirits watching over their family members or helping the maka`ainana (common people). Kupua are known throughout the Hawaiian islands.