Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Niuē-fekai (or Savage) Island and its People



65. There was a woman named Folahau who dwelt at the “Crown of the first heaven,” the name of that land is Tuku-ofe. She was a woman accomplished in the beating of hiapo (bark cloth). When she was preparing the hiapo, there was no water to enable her to peel the rods, and the sun ever set before her task was done, besides she was consumed by thirst—for the land was very dry with drought. She sung and prayed to the birds and beasts, but they gave her no water. She also begged of the fishes, and the sea where are the waters. Then the earth shook with a great earthquake, and her body trembled, whilst the waters came up and boiled over; it came right up to where Folahau was sitting, and where the hiapos were lying at her feet. She was overwhelmed with the water; she drank at once, because of her great thirst, but she never gave thanks to them (who cause the water to rise), nor blessed them for the water that sprung up.

66. That is the reason why the waters return to the very bottom (of the chasms), nor are they able to flow and water the different parts of Niuē Island. These kinds of waters are used at Paluki, at Liku, and some at Alofi, for preparing the arrowroot, but they (the chasms) empty quickly, because Folahau ignorantly drank, without first praying and giving thanks for them. These waters are superior in sweetness down to this day—those that return below but do not flow.

(Most of the fresh water in Niuē is obtained from deep holes and chasms. In some, the water rises and falls with the tide, though the surface may be eighty to one hundred feet above tide level).