THEME: Vai ‘umete legend


The songs tell about the praises of Mā’ara Valley, a green and luxurious place located in the chieftaincy of Vai-ari-nui , today known as Papeari. Beyond the beauty of that Valley, which inspired joy and awe, one could feel shivers, because in those remote times, the gods would wrap the place with an atmosphere of fear coming from lightning bolts, freshness carried by the violent North-Easterly wind and a shower that cleansed the land… Also, inside this valley, two other valleys cohabitate: one is called Fare-Mara’i and the other one Vai-pōiri.

In the deep of the valley lies a water pond called Vai ‘umete. It is a place of fun, a diving and sliding platform where our two young girls could live to the fullest. Their beauty was known beyond the borders of the chieftaincy. So much so that many strangers came from very far to see them out of curiosity. But this was not easy as both of them had a special gift: their bodies could detect the heat of people approaching, thus alerting them of the coming of strangers. They would then run towards the pond Vai ‘umete, would dive into it and disappear. The strangers would wait in vain because they thought they would re-appear to take some fresh air… But this was not the case. Where had our two girls disappeared?

According to the elders, they re-appeared on the other side of the valley, in a cave named Te-rua-mo’o (the lizard’s cave or the cave of two lizards). When they got out of the water, they would transform themselves into lizards. They would stay there to protect the cave and the boundaries of the chieftaincies of Vai-‘urii-nui and of Vai-ari-nui from enemies.