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 â€œguest of honorâ€ 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