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Niuē-fekai (or Savage) Island and its People

The Reflecting Water at Tuo

The Reflecting Water at Tuo

80. Lelego-atua was left at Tuo, as a reflection (looking-glass) on a white stone. It was the custom of the Tupuas, of all parts of Niuē, to assemble there, at the spring to reflect their faces and bodies therein. The water fills the white stone; when it reflects darkly and not clearly, the sides are painted with charcoal and then it shines and reflects admirably; and there the people dressed their hair and blackened themselves (as in war). This place is at Ulu-lauta, near Mutalau, This is the song in reference thereto:—

1. Proceed, descend to Tuo
To look at thyself in the spring,
And there unloosen thy tresses,—
Thy tresses that are unfastened
Thy tresses that are unfastened.
2. The shell ornament of Poi-ulu,
That was stolen by Mala-kai,
Go then, right down to Tuo,
Down, to look at thyself in the spring,
And return again with a fair skin.
3. The angry and mischievous family
Have destroyed my preserved Tiale flowers,
Marked to gather to-morrow
Thou has taken the best,
And left nothing but twigs to gather.
4. Then go down the road at Vai-Kele,
Gather the fine Tiale there,
Only twigs of preserved Tiale
Are left to gather to morrow,
For thou has taken the best.