THEME: Legend of Matavai


In Ha’avai, on the island of Hiti, under the protection of the Creator, the warrior-child of Niufā was born. His name was Ruānu’u. He had a malformation: his head was long, bald and shiny. As he grew up, Ruānu’u felt a strong desire for the beautiful daughter of Ha’anu’u’s great chief, named Tehohotauniua. But would she accept him?


Following the advice of his adoptive mother, Ruānu’u managed to win the heart of the beautiful girl. At night, the two young lovers would spend their time loving each other. One day, at dawn, on his way back home, Ruānu’u met the two brothers of his beloved girl. The two brothers made fun of Ruānu’u, the man who met their sister at night. They planned to humiliate Ruānu’u in public.


But the warrior did not let this happen and cut their tongues off. On the way back to Ha’anu’u, Tehohotauniua discovered them. She screamed out in pain. No word came out of their mouth but the two brothers had managed to let Tehohotauniua know who had abused them.


Tehohotauniua felt a lot of pain and got really angry. She was ashamed of the man she had loved. She pledged that he would never ever get close to her any longer.


As he was madly in love with Tehohotauniua, Ruānu’u looked for any means to win her love back, but to no avail. He had his head massaged to make it smaller, he found some hair for his head and went to meet the chief’s daughter again. Out of exasperation, she set her monster free, Mō’iri, for him to bite Ruānu’u. Once he managed to get away from the animal’s fangs, Ruānu’u returned to Niufā. At that moment, Tehohotauniua came out of her home and saw a handsome warrior.


Since that night, Ruānu’u never went to meet Tehohotauniua again. The next day, he decided to leave for the islands of Hawaii. Tehohotauniua tried to catch up with him but without success. She then started to weep in Ha’avai. She wept so much that her tears dug a place that became a Bay, the Bay of MATAVAI.