Saturday, July 15, 2006

A Fijian Legend

A favorite pastime for Fijians is to tell stories of legends and superstitions. I have a great memory of my grandma telling my sister and I stories of the Fijian Gods. I wanted to share a legend and found one about the shark god.


Dakuwaqa the Shark God

One of the best known gods in Fijian legends is the fierce sea-monster Dakuwaqa. He was the guardian of the reef entrance of the islands, fearless, headstrong and jealous. He frequently changed himself into the form of a shark and traveled around the islands fighting all the other reef guardians.

One day he set out for the Lomaiviti group and after emerging victorious from this area he decided to set out for Suva. The guardian of the reef here challenged Dakuwaqa and a great struggle took place. There was such a disturbance that great waves went rolling into the mouth of the Rewa River causing valleys to be flooded for many miles inland.

Dakuwaqa once more emerged as victor and proceeded on his way. Near the island of Beqa his old friend Masilaca, another shark god, told him of the great strength of the gods guarding Kadavu island and slyly asked Dakuwaqa whether he would be afraid to meet them. Like a shot Dakuwaqa sped off towards Kadavu and, on nearing the reef, found a giant octopus guarding the passage. The octopus had four of its tentacles securely gripping the coral and the other four were held aloft. Rushing furiously in, Dakuwaqa soon found that he was being almost squeezed to death as the octopus had coiled its tentacles around him. Realizing his danger Dakuwaqa begged for mercy and told the octopus that if his life was spared he would never harm any people from Kadavu wherever they may be in any part of Fiji waters.

So the octopus released him and Dakuwaqa kept his promise, and the people of Kadavu have no fear of sharks when out fishing or swimming.

Even today when local fishermen go out for a night's fishing they reverently pour a bowl of yaqona into the sea for Dakuwaqa.

The high chiefs of Cakaudrove are considered the direct descendants of Dakuwaqa and their totem shark will appear to the reigning chief on occasions when momentous news is about to the announced.

For more fun Fijian legends click here for the South Pacific Holidays website.

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