DOBES Archive

upoonika-Mit
In this session the local legend of the humpbacked full moon is told (cf. v.d.Steinen (1933), "Die buckelige Mondnacht"). It actually explains the existence of an islet in the bay of Hanaiapa on Hiva 'Oa island, called Fatutue, which resembles the form of a head named by the French "tête nègre" (> upo'onika in modern Marquesan) (cf. also v.d.Steinen 1933: 369) . It tells the story of a mother with her daughter and two sons. At night during low tide the children fetch crabs and other seafood. After having returned back home the children offer the mother the seafood which she refuses to take. When all the children are fast asleep, the mother, called Tuapu'u (lit. 'humpback'), opens her back through a magic spell and fills all the caught seafood into her back which she eats secretly the next day. The same thing happens the following night. One of her sons gets suspicious and catches eels in the third night which he keeps alive. When the mother follows the same procedure, her back and intestines are eaten up by the living eels and she dies. Before dying she makes her daughter promise to plant a Kehi'a/Kehika-apple tree (Eugenia malaccensis) on her grave and further assigns the uppermost fruit/apple in the tree-top only to her daughter. After five days the tree already carries fruits which can be picked, and being reminded by her promise the daughter picks the uppermost fruit. At the moment of picking the fruit the tree collapses and the mother resurrects. Furiously she pursuits her children to the cape of Hanaiapa which breaks off the main land. This broken off piece of land is the islet Fatutue, also called upo'onika or tête nègre (cf. above). The story ends in that the mother fails to rejoin her children and finally dies in the sea.
Pakeekee1-Mat
This session contains the legend of Pake'eke'e, a powerful tribe of Tahuata island.