Tiu: The West Wind

Tiu: The West Wind

There was a woman named Niniano who lived way up Tahauku valley in Hiva Oa island. She gave birth to four sons who were named: Moota, Evaeva, Mataa and Teutu. Then she gave birth to a girl that she named: Te-Ipo-Atu. Last of all she gave birth to an egg that she placed into the river. The egg was washed down the valley into Tahauku Bay. Out of the egg was born a man named Tiu.

When Tiu was born he was half-fish, half-human and he was covered all over with sores. The mother, Niniano, told her daughter, Te-Ipo-Atu, to take some gratings of the outside of a coconut husk and to rub them onto Tiu. So the daughter did this. Then Tiu became human in appearance and his sores were gone.

Then Tiu crossed over the hill to go to Atuona valley. When he was going over the hill his grandfather saw him and called to him: “Tiu, it is so nice to see you, but make yourself small.” This was because Tiu was a giant. So then Tiu made himself small.

In Atuona at this time there was a tuhuna (shaman) who obtained his mana (power) through an idol that he kept hidden in a cave. Tiu stole the idol and he took it to Taaoa valley. Tiu and his descendants lived in Taaoa valley and they became the Tiu tribe.

I tell you that this story is a great tragedy. The reason is this: The four older brothers of Tiu: Moota, Evaeva, Mataa and Teutu were the fathers of the four main tribes of Fatu Iva island. The descendants of Moota and Evaeva fought the descendants of Mataa and Teutu for hundreds of years. I don’t why they fought, but it may be because those first four brothers on Fatu Iva must have fought over something and the arguing never ended.

‘Marquesan Legends’ by E. S. Craighill Handy

Revised: June 13, 1996

Copyright © 1996 Daniel (Taniera) Longstaff