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Ono Monuments Of Myths Will Be No More Over Time

Ono Monuments Of Myths Will Be No More Over Time
The horse rock which is found at Narikoso Beach, Ono, in Kadavu. Photo: Sheenam Chandra
August 27
11:00 2018

Narikoso Village on Ono island in Kadavu is intertwined with myths and monuments, which face the risk of being lost forever because of the rising sea levels.

From stories of haunting soldiers to court­ing females, the monuments face the risk of being wiped out from Narikoso Village for good.

Retired primary school teacher cum tour guide Mikaele Liga took the Fiji Sun and a media group on a tour of these culturally significant landmarks on the island of Ono.

One of the popular stories in Narikoso is the legend about a special rock, which is found along the beach. Basaltic rocks which are littered on the beach contains stories which have been told for decades.

“This is the rock with a hole on it. If some­one pokes that with a stick or even points at it, bad weather will ensue,” Mr Liga said

“Sometimes young men in the village would perform this act to make visitors stay in a village for additional days.

“They would do this so that the girls would stay and would end up marrying them,” he added.

Because of the rising sea levels, there could come a time when these basaltic rocks would be covered with sea water and there would only be legends and myths to pass this knowledge to the younger generation.

Mr Liga, otherwise known as “Master”, then took the team to the horse rock. After a long walk on the beach, the team were told to spot the horse from a distance. At first glimpse it would look like a rock which has been weathered from heavy wave action, however upon closer inspection, the silhou­ette of a horse would appear.

“There was once a God (vu) named Tano­vo in Ono, who went out on a date with a female. He tied his horse at one end of the beach. They went to a secluded place to find some quality time, however they were in­terrupted by the kaka or the Collared Lory. Tanovo got so angry by this interruption that everything he loved turned to rock, in­cluding his horse.”

From this story arose a famous line: “Na kunekune dredre na kaka ni Ono” which means something that is rare to find. The Collared Lory is an endemic bird of Ka­davu.

The rock, which has the two holes is shaped as the female genitalia and when someone pokes at it a storm will ensue be­cause the villagers believe that the action had angered Tanovo.

The horse rock also has another legend associated with it. A yacht capsized on the beaches of Narikoso. Mr Liga explained that sometimes the villagers would hear horses running and a figure whistling and riding along the beach.

“The figure would be in a British soldier’s uniform so they suspected that a British soldier died on the beach,” he said.

The villagers called this ghost “Taukei Baravi.”

Not only myths and legends are at the risk of being lost in time, but also the oral his­tory that has been passed on from genera­tion. The village of Narikoso is at a risk of losing out.

“There is nothing that can be done, we will continue to tell the stories and show them where these monuments are. Someday, what will remain, will just be stories and nothing else,” Mr Liga said.

Nevertheless, villagers still hold on to their culture and try to preserve it. They tell these stories during yaqona session around the Tanoa, while weaving mats or when simply strolling along the sea wall.

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Not only the livelihood of the villagers be­ing impacted by rising sea levels, their oral history of their tradition and culture will very soon be under water.

“Na kunekune dredre na kaka ni Ono”

Edited by Percy Kean

Feedback: sheenam.chandra@fijisun.com.fj

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