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Niuē-fekai (or Savage) Island and its People

Vai-Matagi and Vai-Fualolo

page 100

Vai-Matagi and Vai-Fualolo

27. Vai-Matagi and Vai-Fualolo were two men who (formerly) dwelt at Hiola, at the sea on the east side of Motu. There are streams there that flow from the rocks. Vai-Matagi is above all others in sweetness; it is fresh, notwithstanding that the waves come up and cover it. When the tide returns then (the waters) are drank; they are not bitter; from this cause it has remained a drinking-water always, down to the present day.

28. Vai-Fualolo is the same, but not always, so when the seas come up it is covered; if only a little, it is sweet, but its sweetness is less, not like that of Vai-Matagi. There is a small spring between the other two, which is called Vai-maga-ua, which is drank by the families. These two springs were named Vai-Matagi and Vai-Fualolo, because they (the two men of those names) used to drink there, and they became tapu, nor would they step over them.*

29. They dwelt at Kula-na-hau and Kaupa. At Kaupa was built the first church by Paulo (in 1849), the teacher from Samoa that came to Mutalau. Now Vai-Matagi and Vai-Fualolo went on a journey to examine various different islands. Their expedition brought them to an island named Tutuila, the king of which island was named Moa. This chief never lifted up his eyes, for fear if he did so, and looked on the trees, they would die. It was the same with all things on the face of the earth; the same with animals that crawl, the same with men. He ever kept his eyes directed to the earth, never turning from it, lest the land and all things in it be cursed.

30. The expedition of Leve-i-Matagi and Leve-i-Fualolo arrived (at their destination). Then the chief of the island asked them, “Whence do you two men come? Make known to me the name of your island, what it may be, and what have you to eat there?”

31. They spoke, and said unto the chief Moa, “This expedition of ours has come from Nuku-tutaha, from Motu-te-fua, from Fakahoamotu, from Nuku-tuluea; very good are the waters which we drink, and we eat many little fruits of the soil. That is all!”

32. Then the chief prepared a feast for the expedition; and they ate of some luscious things, which were sweet to their lips. Then they praised the food, and felt their lips and the oil on their hands,

page 101

Teletele ke tufuga,
Teletele ke iloilo,
Teletele ke taitai
Teletele ke mafiti
Teletele ke uka-hoge.
Kua tele mui e tama i fonua,
Ka e tele mua a mea i Palūki
Fiti-kaga ai o tupua.

25. Ko e kamataaga ne fai ke age e tau mena kai ke he gutu; ko e heahea, mo e kamakama mo e to-maka, ko e manu-lele ko e Taketake, ko e tau manu kalo mo e mafiti, mo e to-maka nakai mate vave he tu he vao, ke fakapoa aki e tama. Ti liogi atu ne fai ke he fakapoa ia. Ko e tama-tāne:—

Kia tu ai a Tagaloa.
Ke monuina, ke mafiti
Ke mata-ala, ke loto-matala.
Ke maama e loto he tau fāhi oti,
Ke manava-lahi, ke ahu-maka.
Ke toa,
To iloilo ke tufuga he tau mena oti ni,
To molu e loto, to loto holo-i-lalo, mo e tututonu
To faka mokoi.

Kua to e uha, ti fano ai; kua to a matagi, ti fano ai; ke he aho mo e po: Kua nakai tafia ke he peau; ke hola mafiti ni ka tutuli he kau, ti moui loa ke nofo he fuga kelekele.

26. Ko e tama-fifine:—

Tufuga ke lalaga tegitegi, mo e tutū hiapo; ke fili kafa-lauulu, mo e fili kafa-hega; ke lalaga kato; mo e tau gahua oti ne tupu mai he La Lava; ke nu pia mo e tu-hoi; ke tufuga ke taute mena kai, mo e leveki e tau gahua oti pihia.

* It seems probable that the two men were named Matagi and Fualolo or Leve-i-Matagi and Leve-i-Fualolo. (See par. 30), but in the process of time after the springs were given their names, and vai (water) has become attached to their personal names. Being tapu, of course it would be desecration to step over them.