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Niuē-fekai (or Savage) Island and its People



60. She was the beloved child of Hina, the chief, who dwells in the second heaven. The heavens were (at one time) very low, causing men of the earth to crawl; they rested on the tops of the Pia (or arrow-root plant), and the Tavahi-kaku tree. So Maui thrust up the heavens–one of his feet was at Tuapa, the other near Ali-utu; it is seven miles and a bit between where his two feet stood; there are two depressions in the rocks where the soles of Maui's feet stood, down to this day.*

61. Hina sent down her beloved child to bring up some fire from the first heavens below, which was with the Chief Moko-fulu-fulu. Moko-fulu-fulu gave her some fire which went out very quickly. She returned for more, and that went out also. Again she returned, and then Moko-fulu-fulu presented his head to her that she might clean it of insects. Then he seized this tapu woman and did evil unto her. She ascended to her parent, who took her by the legs and with a loholoho, or stem of the coco-nut leaf, beat her daughter.

62. The daughter cried bitterly and fled, finally resting by the side of a stream and the sea. She cried out to the birds and the creeping things, and the fish. Some fish came to her, and she sang to them, thus:—

If there swims a fish with kind intent,
Let it swim hither to me.
If there comes a fish of savage nature
Let it swim away from here.

63. Many fish came, and she asked of each: “What do you come for?” The fish replied, “I come to bring my body that you may mark it.” So she marked their bodies, some striped, some spotted, some red, some white, some black. Then came a Lakua (Bointo) with laughter and …. ? gazing on Hina-hele-ki-fata. She took him and placed him before her. After this came the shark, of whom she asked, “What do you come for ?” “I came to bring a tooth to shave your head !” At this Hina was angry; she stood up and debased the shark.

* One of these depressions is on the track from Alofi to Ali-utu. It is some what like a foot made in the coral rock, about eighteen inches long.

Moko-fulu-fulu is the name (Moko huruhuru) of one of the Maori gods of Sorcery.