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Turtle and Shark Site, a legend of old Samoa
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Author Topic: Turtle and Shark Site, a legend of old Samoa  (Read 5283 times)
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« on: January 26, 2009, 07:12:18 AM »

Turtle & Shark Site

The most famous legend of Tutuila is found along the black lava coast of Vaitogi village.  Though the are many different versions of the legend, one of the most popular relates the  story of a blind lady and her granddaughter, who during an extreme time of hardship and  starvation and after being turned away from other villagers, leapt from the cliffs into the  ocean in order to avoid starvation. Magically, they turned  into the turtle and the shark.

Another chant relates the account of a young husband who was invited to be the “guest of  honor” at a cannibalistic feast.  Fleeing for their safety, the young husband and his wife  set out in their canoe.  While they were at sea, a strong wind blew their canoe over to the  island of Tutuila, where they were eventually taken in by a chief named Letuli. 

With the  eventual discontinuance of cannibalism, Letuli offered to take the couple back to their  homeland.  They refused the invitation, and as a gesture of their gratitude they jumped  into the ocean, where the husband turned into the shark and the wife transformed into the  turtle. The husband told the chief that, anytime children gathered at the shores of Vaitogi  and sang, a turtle and a shark would appear for them. 

   Today, school children will gather at the legendary site, and for a small fee (US$2 per  person) will stand on the cliffs looking out over the ocean at Vaitogi and sing the legend  of the turtle and shark.     

Pago Pago Tradewind Tours and Rentals
P.O. Box 968  Pago Pago, American Samoa,  96799 
Phone: (684) 688-7722  Mobile: (684) 733-5603  Fax: (684) 688-1603 
Contact: Betty Cavanagh 

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