Stories From Kiribati

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The story of Nei Takarara

Posted by Amota Eromanga on October 13, 2016 at 5:35 AM Comments comments (0)

As the big tree known as 'Te Kaintikuaba' finally collapsed, Nei Takarara left the tree and went to the island of Nabanaba. She brought the seed of the tree with her. Arriving at Nabanaba, two men - Tauaba and Nakekea - met and married her. Nei Takarara soon gave birth to a daughter whom she named Tekanuea.

There was also a man by the name of Tearikintarawa who lived on the island of Tarawa. With him were his wife, Nei Tarawa, and only daughter Nei Terieri. Everyday, Nei Teri...

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Nabureiwa and the traditional dance known as Te Karanga (Part 2)

Posted by Amota Eromanga on March 25, 2016 at 4:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Tetaake and Nabureiwa swam out to the ocean. Suddenly Nabureiwa felt being falling into a deep hole of water. Shortly and as Tetaake assured, they had landed now at Tetaake’s father’s island in a world beneath the sea. The name of this beautiful island was Moone. Together the couple walked to their father Bakoa whom delighted to see them. Bakoa was the king of Moone. Nabureiwa was stunned to know his wife was more than an ordinary lady - the princess of Moone and the only daughter...

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Nabureiwa and the traditional dance known as Te Karanga (Part 1)

Posted by Amota Eromanga on January 15, 2016 at 4:30 AM Comments comments (0)

There was once a young man by the name of Nabureiwa who lived at Kauake village on the island of Aranuka. One day he went out fishing in the ocean. While fishing he suddenly felt a strong tug onto his line so he pulled back in return. As he was busy pulling the line, he saw the long human hair beside his canoe. Curiosity made him forgot all about his catch and instead started pulling onto the hair. He pulled and pulled until a lady appeared onto the water surface. Nabureiwa couldn’t bel...

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The First Breadfruit Tree

Posted by Amota Eromanga on September 15, 2013 at 7:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Long ago, on one of the islands of the Marshalls, there lived a king with his three daughters. The daughters were happy but their father was not happy. The king was thinking hard about how to get some flowers from a special plant called kaura. Every king’s daughter in the Marshall islands had to plait these special flowers into a crown. Daughters had to crown themselves when they became young women.

One day, the king whispered to his eldest daughter. The princess nodded ...

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The Mystery Ladies of Marakei

Posted by Amota Eromanga on September 15, 2013 at 5:55 AM Comments comments (2)

Marakei is a beautiful atoll in Kiribati. It is a perfect Pacific island atoll, an almost complete circle of land with a shallow lagoon in the middle. The people of Marakei are happy and love to sing and dance. They are blessed with rich land and many fish from the lagoon and the ocean.

The legend of the four ghosts of Marakei claims to give the reason for all of the good things found on the island. Each of these ghosts has the name of a woman. They are sometimes called godde...

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Kaiboia and Butaritari

Posted by Amota Eromanga on August 8, 2013 at 5:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Many years ago, at Buariki village on Tarawa lived Kaboia and his wife. He was nothing but lazy bones. He didn’t cut toddy or went fishing and his bwabwai pits were the only ones in the village that lay uncultivated. All he loved doing was staying home - sleeping on his buia; while young men in his village would go fishing, cut toddy or work inside their bwaibwai pits located out in the bush. His wife often encouraged him to stop being lazy and be active like the others but he just cou...

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Nei Taia and Nei Taina

Posted by Amota Eromanga on May 23, 2013 at 2:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Tabwakea and his wife Nei Unikai went to Samoa. There, they had two children, Taninganikauongo and Nei Kimoauea. Taninganikauongo later went back and lived in Tarawa while Nei Kimoauea stayed in Samoa.

Down at ‘moone’ (world at the bottom of the sea), Bakewa (the brother of Tabwakea) and his wife Nei Wiriki also had three children; Bakoauea (king shark), Bakoaun (killer shark) and the youngest Na Atia. Bakoauea later married and had a son named Na Tababa (tiger sh...

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Nei Nimwanoa And Her Brothers

Posted by Amota Eromanga on June 11, 2012 at 4:20 AM Comments comments (4)

Nei Nimwanoa lived with her brothers Uamumuri, Nanikain and Tabutoa close to the sea.There was a man who came from Nei Tituabine's offsprings whom he lived in the bush. His name was Waitangitau. One day, Waitangitau went westward towards the coast when he happened to meet Nei Nimwanoa. They became husband and wife. After a while, they had a son whom they named Takarano. Nei Nimwanoa's brothers hated the baby and killed him. Nei Nimwanoa buried her baby on the tabuki (small hill) called Tetong...

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Mrs Katutetang

Posted by Amota Eromanga on June 8, 2012 at 2:45 AM Comments comments (0)

There was once a female turtle, Nei Katutetang, who lived among the people of Tekairirieta village on Abemama Island. Tekairirieta was a village due north of Kabangaki village.

On one occasion, all the people of Tekairirieta went to Aonobuaka - a village closer to the south end of the island. While everyone was away, there was nobody left in the village except Nei Katutetang.

She waited and waited but no one came to feed her. The more she waited, the more she grew hungry and helpl...

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Why Ray Fish Live In The Lagoon

Posted by Amota Eromanga on June 7, 2012 at 3:35 AM Comments comments (0)

One day, Rimwimata was out fishing. To his amazement, he had caught a mermaid instead of a big fish. She was Nei Tengarengare, daughter of the king of the sea - Bakewa. She was as beautiful as the ocean and for this; Rimwimata fell in love with her at the first glance.

The wedding preparation started. Rimwimata's parents and relatives began to gather food for the wedding feast. As they did so, they laughed at the idea that the bride could only prepare nothing.

"She has no family,...

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The Lady In The Moon

Posted by Amota Eromanga on June 7, 2012 at 3:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Once, a lady fell to an island from nowhere. She got married to a man and not long after that, they had a pretty little girl. The child was so spoiled that whatever she cried for was granted to her by the parents. She cried a lot and for different desires.

One day, she cried again. This time she wanted to go to the sun and the moon. She cried from morning until night and night to morning for wanting to be taken up there. The father came up to no other choices but to do what his daughter...

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The First Coconut Tree

Posted by Amota Eromanga on June 6, 2012 at 4:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Once in the past, an elderly man married to his daughter-in-law after the passing away of his only son. Their re-marriage was possible since the father had been a widower for some years. How happy was the father whom he was now the husband of a young and very beautiful lady.

But one thing did not ever changed since their first day of marriage. The young wife would never allow a single kiss from her husband. It was impossible for her and the choice of death was easier than a kiss approva...

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How Banaba Looked Like A Capsized Canoe

Posted by Amota Eromanga on June 6, 2012 at 4:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Long ago, in one of his adventurous trips, Auriaria (half human and spirit and early member of the Bomatemaki) came to the island of Banaba. Upon his arrival, the villagers hated him and secretly planned to kill him. Because he looked strong and fierce, they decided to poison him.

People brought him a lot of food. There were bunches of unhusked coconuts stuck to sharp branchy stems, as well as giant taro (bwabwai) full of mud and roots. Fish were also brought but among these fish were p...

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Beiamatekaai

Posted by Amota Eromanga on June 5, 2012 at 1:10 PM Comments comments (2)

After the death of King Kewe, his brother Kirata Te Rerei came to rule but he was not enthroned to be king until he was old.

However, Kirata Te Rerei's great grandson, Kirata Te Bwataro, became the second king of Tarawa. Kirata Te Bwataro was huge and healthy therefore the elders came to old Kirata Te Rerei and asked that Kirata Te Bwataro was enthroned. Not long after Kirata Te Bwataro ascended to the throne, old Kirata Te Rerei died for he was very old and had tawa (wrinkles on old pe...

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King Kewe And Nei Aromaeao

Posted by Amota Eromanga on June 4, 2012 at 1:35 PM Comments comments (2)

There was once a king called King Kewe who lived at Buariki village. He was the first king whom greatly admired by his people on his island - Tarawa.

King Kewe was the grandson of Ten Tebau, the elder brother of Te Arikintarawa and the sibling of those early spirits Ngkoangkoa and Tabwakea.

The king had a wall which was built up from atirababa (hard flat rock). The wall was about sixty feet long, forty feet wide and three feet high. He had an average size mwaneaba and it was the s...

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Tabwakea And Bakoa

Posted by Amota Eromanga on June 4, 2012 at 1:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Everyone got a boti (place) inside the first mwaneba at Buariki except Tabwakea and Bakoa! So while everybody was sitting at their chosen boti, Nareau spoke to Tabwakea, "Your boti is aonteaba (land) and you will administer it!" He turned to Bakoa and said, "And yours is marawa (ocean)!"

Hatred between the two began and it continued until these present days. Thus, Tabwakea often won over Bakoa.

Nareau then spoke to aonteaba,"Produce as much as you can for the sake o...

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The First Mwaneaba And Boti

Posted by Amota Eromanga on June 4, 2012 at 1:20 PM Comments comments (0)

When Ngkoangkoa had come down, Nareau said to everyone, "Let's all go inside the mwaneaba (meeting hall) so everybody gets a boti (a place to sit). Each of you is free to choose any place you like." The mwaneaba was not very far from Routanikarawa and the distance between the two was said to be a stone's throw.

Nareau went first followed by Ngkoangkoa, Nei Tituabine, Nabwawe, Karitoro, Rikannaaba, Toronaaba, Ten Tika, Tabuariki, Auriaria, Tabwakea, Bakoa, Kaobunang and Nei...

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Nareau And The Moon

Posted by Amota Eromanga on June 2, 2012 at 1:30 PM Comments comments (0)

When 'Taai' was all clean and clear, it began to shine. Nareau then went to the second weaker light source and started cleaning and dusting its surface. And he uttered another unusual chant:

          Teirake naba ngkoe (stand up you too)
          Aram namwakaina (your name is moon)
          Ko na oota ma ootam ae (shine with)
          Te nuka n oota (middle shine)
...

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Nareau And The Sun

Posted by Amota Eromanga on June 1, 2012 at 12:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Nareau's reflection was the sole light inside the Bomatemaki because the other sources were still inactive. Nareau reached out his hands and started cleaning the dust and dirt on the bigger light source. As he did so, he chatted out a strange chant:

          Bon te ai ngkoe (you are the fire)
          Bakani kauti matam (open your eyes)
          Kauti matam te ai (open your eyes fire)
   ...

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Nareau and The Bomatemaki Floor

Posted by Amota Eromanga on May 29, 2012 at 2:10 PM Comments comments (0)

When the 'bora' (top part or roof) of the bomatemaki was fully raised up, Nareau asked everyone to come and sit around him with Ngkoangkoa . Then he said to them, "Now, the roof of the bomatemaki has been separated from the floor as we have raised the top part. This has been a difficult but successful job done by everyone. I will now finish everything that needs to be done to the floor. But before that let me name the roof as 'Karawa' (sky) and the floor as 'Tarawa' (land), and water there as...

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