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Niuē-fekai (or Savage) Island and its People



45. Mele, mo Lata, Fakapoloto, Hakumani, mo Matila-foafoa. Ko Matila-foafoa ko e tagata ia kua mua e vave he ta-tika; ko e tau tane ia he Motu-a-Hina, ko e lagi tua-ua ia. Ne fanau a Matilafoafoa e tama-tane, ti uta mo e tiaki he vao ke mate i lalo he lagi tu taha; kua fafao aki e hiapo ke he gutu he tama; ati puke e hiapo he ifo he hana gutu, kua eke tuai mo puke huhu ke he tama. Ati kai ai e tama, kua moui ni, kua lahi ke evaeva, ka e nakai iloa e ia hana matua.

46. Kua fano e tama mo e pu ai he patu-fifine matapouli tali he fanau mai, ha ne tunu ai he ufi la-valu he afi; ti fano e tama mo e nofo ai he tapa he afi ne tunu ai e ufi; kua moho, ati vouvou he

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first; all the yams were eaten by the child who lived on milk of spittle. Then he put a stone to roast at the fire; and the woman got nothing but the stone.

47. The blind-woman was very angry, and felt about with her hands. She then adopted a scheme, threw off her kilt …. and walked about to the north, south, east and west sides trying to find out the theif. But the boy soon laughed at her, which she heard and knew it was he who had stolen her food.

48. The boy now asked, “Who is my father?” Said the blind-woman, “Go thou and pluck two young fruit of the niu-tea (or light-colored coco-nuts). He went and did as he was told, and came back and said, “I have got them.” The blind-woman then said, “Come here!” The boy brought one and after husking it, touched the right eye of the woman, and she saw with it. He then took the other and touched the left eye, and then both eyes were opened. The blind-woman was delighted.

49. The boy now asked, “Who is my father?” and the woman said, “Come then! after three days the court of casting tikas will be set up at Fana-Kava-tala. If you hear one saying this: One-one-pata, Mata-vai-hava, the plaza at Fana-kava-tala (which is the plaza at the Ulu-lauta at Mata-fonua—north end of the island) do you go down to the end of the plaza, of the lelega-atua, and hide and await the man of the black tika (dart) which will be thrown last, it is mui-huni of the plaza; that will be thy father.”

50. The boy went and awaited the chief of the plaza when he cast darts. Matila-foafoa was the last to act; and the dart went right to to the place where the boy was sitting, who seized it and broke it. He jumped up and wrestled with his father, saying, “Matila-foafoa, O my father! why did you cast me away?” The son had found his father.

(The above story illustrates the confused and sketchy nature of the traditions presented by the Niuē people. It embraces part of the Maori story of Tawhaki and Whaitiri, known also to the Hawaiians, and the Rarotongan story of Tarauri (“Myths and Songs,” p. 118, also p. 131, and a far more complete story in my collection). Matila-foafoa is the Matira-hoahoa of Maori ancestory, but though the Maoris have many stories of magical darts, he is not connected with them that I know of.)