Mataginifale and the turtle

Photo: C.P Channel

One morning, Mataginifale, a beautiful hiapo-making woman from Fetuna was working on her hiapo. A turtle stopped by to admire her work. He complimented her on her good looks and cleverness. He flattered her and she was smitten.

Then one day, the turtle invited Mataginifale to go for a ride on his back. Mataginifale did not hesitate. She wanted to see beyond the horizon.

She packed some food and drink into a basket and they headed out into the horizon. When Mataginifale was thirsty, she drank from her coconuts. When she was hungry, she asked the turtle how she could open her coconut. Turtle replied, “crack it on my head”, and she did.

This legend explains why the turtle’s head is short.


Category: Fascinating Niue, Legend

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