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Stories From Kiribati


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Nang Keneia

Posted by Amota Eromanga on February 19, 2019 at 7:55 AM

At Kiebu on Makin, there lived a man called Nang Keneia. The people of Kiebu at that time, occasionally went to Butaritari to attend the dancing festival. After preparing all that was required and needed, people had to wait for the day of the trip.

When the day came, the people got onto the ‘baurua’ (big sailing canoe) which would take them to Butaritari. The canoe went on its first then second trip taking many people there, however Nang Keneia hardly care of the commotion.

Someone asked him, “How about you Nang Keneia? There will be lots of fun out there. Aren’t you coming?”

“How can I go? I can’t stand the fact that our toddy will dry up if nobody looks after them.” answered Nang Keneia. “I will take care of all the toddy trees in the village.”

Not long, the last trip sailed off. Everyone had left except Nang Keneia who was now staying behind all be himself.

In the afternoon, Nang Keneia managed to finish cutting all the toddy trees of the whole village long enough before dark. He was capable of that because he was skillful and active. Just as darkness fell, he went to the beach to sleep. He wanted not to be seen during the night so he buried himself in the sand. With the help of the coconut shell placed over his nose, he lay there and slept.

At midnight, the ghosts arrived at the beach to play the game of ‘digging sand’. While they were playing, they found Nang Keneia sleeping there. The ghosts gathered around him and began playing with him. They tickled and tickled him to laugh until daybreak. In the morning, the ghosts left Nang Keneia lying weak on the beach.

Despite being tired and weak, Nang Keneia was able to cut all the village toddy. Then he walked around the island looking for another place to sleep. He knew he must find a good place to hide from the ghosts. On that second night, he hid and slept at to the top of a very high tree.

At midnight, the ghosts started looking for Nang Keneia. When they found him, they dragged him to the beach and began tickling him again and again until dawn. Nang Keneia felt very weak and restless.

On the third night, Nang Keneia hid himself so well that the ghosts failed to find him. The ghosts tried to trick him by calling out in loud voices the names of the people of Kiebu. When Nang Keneia heard those names, he thought his people had finally returned from Butaritari. He quickly walked out of his safe place to meet them. Poor Nang Keneia - he was found again!

The ghosts dragged him to the beach where they tickled him over and over again until he died.

When the people of Kiebu returned, they found Nang Keneia lying dead on the beach. Everyone felt sad for the lost of Nang Keneia.

Categories: Legends & Myths

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