Monday, 28 November 2016

Fiji video and the "Sleeping Giant"...

The "Sleeping Giant" mountain/hill range view from Nadi, Fiji.
In case the video doesn't work, one of the big highlights of being in Fiji was viewing the "Sleeping Giant" mountain/hill range again after many years. I first heard about the Fiji giant when researching the story of the giant "Moso" in Samoa in the 1980s as there was a belief that Moso's other footprint was in Fiji somewhere.

In the retelling of the book "The footprint of Moso" (2016), I tried to retell the story connecting the two stories as little is known of the story of the sleeping giant in Fiji and I hope that one day a Fijian will write and publish it for the world to know.

It was also very interesting whilst viewing the movie "Moana", that the story of Te Fiti/Whiti was also told, one that I had not heard of, and I assumed that Te Fiti was male, although I knew the Hawaiian volcanic deity "Pele" to be female. The metamorphosis into a mountain/hill range is a feature that I am aware of in many Pasifika stories and was well told in Moana too.

In fact, of the four "tala o le vavau" (Samoan - ancient stories) series of books each of them tells of a personification of landforms/landscapes or phenomena which tells of the early close and sacred connection of our Pacific ancestors with their environment.

The following four books tell of various natural phenomena in ancient stories:

  1. Sina and the Tuna (2015) an ancient Samoan story about the origins of the coconut
  2. Mount Vaea and the tears of Apa'ula (2015) a ancient story about the formation of Mount Vaea and the waterways of "Loimata o Apa'ula" (now a small pool as it was filled in with dirt) in Upolu Samoa.
  3. Tagaloalagi and Fue (2015) an ancient Samoan story about the origins of people pre-Christianity 
  4. The footprint of Moso (2016) an ancient story about the origins of a lava rock form in Savaii, Samoa.

In a sense, the stories were told as if to take word images photos of these important landforms/landscapes or natural phenomenon in order to explain the formation. These stories held important information of the beliefs that Pacific ancestors had with their close relationship to the environment. In Samoan these natural phenomenon were called "pine faamau" or pin to fasten or give evidence that the phenomenon existed.

And so these stories continued to be told from one generation to the next...

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