There lived a man named Gaeuli. He was a navigator. One day, he decided, in Samoa that he would come and look for islands. He was married to the two daughters of Vave. The names of Vave’s two daughters were Gauna and Hagalolo. So he talked to his two wives, and he came here. He came and was sightseeing on the open sea and he came here. He sailed and sailed and sailed until he reached an island, he came and arrived at this island.
When he arrived on the island, he found no people here. He reached the island at night. So he cut open his jackfish on the left side of the channel.He put the fish into the canoe and sailed into the lagoon through the channel. Then he went ashore on the lagoon-side of Laovage. He anchored his canoe there and got off and went inland. He started his fire, fed his fire, cooked his jackfish, and ate it. Then he laid down to sleep.
Then Sogo commanded his ghosts, who were the crabs, that they should come and untie Gaeuli’s canoe so that it would drift away, so that Gaeuli would not stay on this island. And Gaeuli, after three or four times that he saw his canoe drift away, he no longer wanted to stay on the island. He was bothered and tired. So he went back, climbed back on his canoe and left.
So he sailed and sailed until he reached Samoa. He told his two wives, Vave’s two daughters, that he found a new island, and nobody was living there. Only Sogo lived there, alone, with his ghosts. And Vave, he decided that he would go and take his family to this new island that his son-in-law Gaeuli had found. They would prepare all of their things, place them on the canoe, and leave for this new island that was found.
There was a man who was married to the most beautiful woman in Samoa at that time, whose name was Inahia. The name of Inahia’s husband was Buasalai. So Buasalai said, he went and said to his wife Inahia, “Inahia, let’s go up with Vave and his family to this new island that his son-in-law found.” And Inahia thought at that moment, “There’s nothing that Buasalai will put before me, because of my beauty. Buasalai won’t go if I don’t go with him.” So Inahia stayed and made her pandanus leaves and wove her sleeping mat. But Buasalai returned to their house, packed his things, and went to Vave and his family’s canoe, and he climbed on top of their canoe and they left.
Later that day, someone walked beside the house of Inahia and Buasalai. Inahia was still sitting there pounding her pandanus leaves. So the person walked up and asked Inahia, “You didn’t leave with Buasalai on the canoe of Vave and his family?” And Inahia was shocked. She said to herself then, “Well, I guess his desire for this new island became more important to Buasalai than his love for me and my beauty here on Samoa. He discarded me and went with Vave and his family.” And so, she decided that day that she would kill herself. So she picked up her wooden pestle for pounding pandanus leaves, and she hit herself between the eyes, and she laid down and died.
And when she died and lay there, then the men were finally able to come have sex with her. The day that she died, the men came and each had sex with Inahia, who was dead. The first man who went inside the house and slept with Inahia died, and the man after him pulled him outside, and he went in and slept with Inahia and he died too. That was what happened to all the men who went to Inahia that day. Many men died that day at the house of Inahia and Buasalai. Someone spread the news and the king heard about it, the news, so the king of Samoa stopped men from going to where the woman was, Inahia. But by the time the king stopped it, many men had died with Inahia. It was over. When it was stopped, when the king stopped the men of his island, there were no more men who went to Inahia, and Inahia was buried that day. How then, that’s how they buried Inahia after her death, and they left her. So that’s the day that she was gone forever, the most beautiful woman in Samoa at that time, whose name was Inahia.
So Buasalai arrived at the new island that Gaeuli discovered, which Vave decided that his family would go to. Vave and his family, their canoe that came to the island was a haolua. It’s two canoes, turned so that the flat sides of the canoe are on the inside and the two outrigger floats are on the outside, and they put the togoduu on it. The name of the house on the boat is togoduu, and the name of the canoe is haolua. So they lived here on this island.
As they continued to live here on this island, Gaubogo’s sister began to win out over Gaubogo. Her sister’s name was Gausugilogo. She took Vave, and they got married. And they stayed on this island. But Gaubogo was upset. In her mind, she was the reason that her sister Gausugilogo was able to come to this island. But when they arrived, Gausugilogo really hurt her by marrying her husband, Vave. And they became husband and wife then. So that’s their story.
So Gausugilogo and Vave were living together, and Gaubogo went to the ocean-side of Sabo- ganga and criticized them. There she figured that she was facing her island. So when the first harvest of the island is brought to Vave, Vave gave the biggest portion to Gaubogo, his true wife, who his children are with. Vave decided to do that because he figured, that’s the woman who gave birth to his descendants, Gaubogo. That was the best plan that Vave could come up with for the sisters Gaubogo and Gausugilogo. But when Gausugilogo realized how Vave was treating her and her sister, even though Vave was her husband at that time, she became upset, and she said to herself, “Why then? How could Vave do this to me? We are now husband and wife, but the first fruits of the island that are brought to him, he gives the larger portion to Gaubogo.” But she couldn’t do anything about it, because those were Vave’s wishes. Most of the first fruits of the island that were brought to him were sent to his wife who had his children.
Then one day, as they continued to stay on this island, Iaidemalo and his wife had children. The name of Iaidemalo’s wife was Leibua. They had three sons. The oldest child’s name was Hagadauanga. The child below him was Dehegevaealigi. And the youngest child was Dehuemalaedoli. Those are the names of the three sons of Iaidemalo, one of Vave’s two sons. Deagu, he didn’t have any children.
While they lived on Nukuoro, Hagadauanga was born first, and they raised and raised him until he grew up and knew how to look after himself. They continued to live there, and then one day, Iaidemalo’s wife got pregnant again. And the day came that she gave birth, the day that Leibua gave birth, and when Leibua delivered, it was another baby boy. So his parents gave him the name Dehegevaealigi. The name Dehegevaealigi means spirit, the spirit of the priests. The clan of the priests. That name was given to the second son of Iaidemalo. So they looked after him and raised him, and they continued to live there, and looked after him until Dehegevaealigi grew up also, and he knew how to take care of himself. And they continued to live there.
They lived there for a little while, and after some time, Leibua became pregnant again. And after a little while, Leibua gave birth again to the last child. When he was born, the day he was born, his parents gave him the name Dehuemalaedoli. So they cared for him and raised him until he knew how to look after himself. And that was the last child of Iaidemalo and Leibua. They had three sons.
So one day, Deheumalaedoli came to his two grandparents, Vave and Gausugilogo, and his grandparents were so happy. They were happy that their grandchild came to see them that day. So his grandma Gausugilogo took him and laid him on her lap and rocked him, rocked Dehuemalaedoli. And there was this phrase of a song about Vave called ‘E hau sogo Vave gi dono henua’. And on that day Gausugilogo looked and saw Logo sitting there, she could see the place where Logo was sitting. Their houses were close. Logo is a man, the father of Leibua, Iaidemalo’s wife. So Gausugilogo, she thought that day of a chant, that she would compose a verse of a song in honor of Logo, to sing while rocking her grandchild Dehuemalaedoli. So she began to sing her song that she composed on the spot, and called it ‘E hau sogo Logo gi dono henua.’
But Vave was sitting near Gausugilogo, and Vave became filled with jealousy at that time, and he became angry. So he told his two guards to come and stab Logo with spears. So his two guards came with their spears to come and stab Logo. And when they came, Iaidemalo seemed to understand why his father’s two guards came, it was to stab Logo with their spears. So Iaidemalo asked his father’s two guards, “What did you come here for?” And the two guards answered him, saying, “Vave told us to come and stab Logo to death.” So Iaidemalo told his father’s two guards, “You two, go back to where you came from.”
And the two guards were scared of what Iaidemalo said to them, so they returned to Vave and Vave asked them, “Why did you re- turn here without stabbing Vave, I mean, Logo to die right away?” And the two guards said to Vave, “Because we were afraid of Iaidemalo, who said that we should go back to where we came from.” And they sat down for a short moment. And Vave said, “You two, go and hide on a different road and go stab Logo so that he dies quickly.” They returned and did as Vave told them. When they returned, the same thing happened. Iaidemalo knew why the two guards came, so he banished the two guards again that time. They returned, and when they returned, Vave gave no more instructions for what they should do then. So they just stayed.
So one day, after this day, Leibua went to the taro patch to pick some taro for their food and bring it for them to eat. Iaidemalo was still at their house. And Iaidemalo decided then on that day that he would send for his wife Leibua in the taro patch to pick a supply of food and return home. They were to leave, and never return. And Leibua was still doing her work in the taro patch. And at that moment, when the she heard the conch shell call that indicated exile, Leibua was so surprised. She didn’t know why they would be exiled that day. So she came quickly. She brought the rations and came home. The word oo, it refers to the cut taro. That is what people would take with them when they were leaving the island for good.
So she came and reached her husband and her father at their house, and their three children. And Iaidemalo talked to Leibua and said, “Pack up our things, we have to leave, because my father wants to kill your father quickly, so that he cannot be with us anymore.” And Leibua said to herself at that time that she was a stranger on somebody else’s island. The meaning of what Leibua is saying is like this: if she lived on her own island, nothing like that would have happened to her on that day. It was because the island she was living on at that time belonged to other people. That’s why she was called to return home from the taro patch that day. So she came and reached home, and knew that it was because of her father that they had to leave that day. So she did what Iaidemalo had told her. She packed their things and got prepared and dragged their canoe to the lagoon and carried all their supplies onto their canoe.
When their supplies were loaded, Iaidemalo thought at that time, “I will give my youngest child to live at my father’s house to replace me, and I will go with my wife and my wife’s father." So he got up then and carried Dehuemalaedoli and put him on his father Vave’s lap, and he talked to him and said, ‘This is your child for you to remember me by, and I’m leaving with my wife and my wife’s father, wherever we may go.” And Vave clapped his hands at that time and cried out and wept, and he recalled the horrible things he had done to the father- in-law of his son Iaidemalo. He didn’t know what to do. Iaidemalo had stood fast on his decision to leave with his wife and his wife’s father, and he left his child Dehuemalaedoli with his parents, and he took his two sisters Gauna and Hagalolo. And they left, with the people and his wife on their canoe. They left.
They dragged their canoe to the lagoon on the beach and reached the water and they climbed on board. They poled in the lagoon toward the south end of the island. They went to the place where the channel is, and they went out to the sea. As they continued and reached the place where the channel is, and they turned toward the ocean inside the channel, he remembered then how he loved his child that he had left with his father. So when they reached the road on the lagoon-side of Senugudai, he said to his two sisters, “I think it’s not necessary for you two to go. You two get off and return back up on land. Look after our child. I think Dehuemalaedoli will be crying tonight because he will miss me and Leibua.” So his two sisters did as he told them. They got off and came back and Iaidemalo left with his wife and his wife’s father.
When they arrived on the ocean-side in front of the island’s channel, they hoisted their sail up and they sailed. They sailed away. They sailed and sailed and landed at an island, whose name was Tahiti. And the people of Tahiti killed his wife’s father and his wife and him and the people that had come with them in their canoe. They killed all of them. And those people erected four posts and created a platform on top, and there they put Leibua and Logo and the people that came with them in their canoe, and they started a fire below and it burned. And as for Iaidemalo, they erected a post like the mast of a canoe, fastened lines to the top of the post, and tied him to it, and they pulled him up and then they lowered him down. Then they splashed water on the platform, and the platform burned like a wellbuilt fire, and they put him down into the flames of the fire. Then they pulled him up, and they lowered him down below and splashed water on the platform, and the platform burned larger, and they lowered him into the flames of the fire. So that’s the punishment that the people of Tahiti gave to Iaidemalo and his wife and his wife’s father and the people that went with them to that island.
So one day, there was another navigator, whose name was Tubuanage. He came also and was traveling on the ocean from the island that he came from. When he too came to Tahiti, where he saw how those people died, killed by the people of Tahiti, he stayed on Tahiti for a little while, but he decided to leave that island and see if there was another island that he could discover. So he departed from Tahiti, Tubuanage did. And he left each of the islands that he went to, after he left Tahiti, and he came and came and came and reached this island also.
When he arrived and met Vave and his people that lived on this island, they lived here. They lived together on this island. Tubuanage stayed at the place where he lived, and some days he would walk to where Vave was and they would talk to each other. And he would talk with Vave and he would observe Vave, because to his eyes, Vave looked no different from the tattooed man dressed in a loincloth who was burning in the fire on Tahiti. And Vave realized what Tubuanage was doing to him every day, coming to see him and observing him. So one day he asked Tubuanage, “Why do you keep staring at me every day when you come to see me here?” And Tubuanage said to Vave, “Because I saw a man roasted in a fire on Tahiti and his appearance wasn’t that different from yours. He was wearing a loincloth and he had striped tattoos on his chest, and that was what was done to him by the people of Tahiti, what I told you just now.”
And Vave cried then, and he remembered how he missed his son with love and longing. So the next morning, Vave decided, “It would be best for us to also leave the island, to sail away from this island so I can go and see if I can find my child, who left because of me and died on the island where Tubuanage saw him.” So they packed their things the next morning, him and his people, his two daughters and his son Deagu and his wife Gausugilogo. After they picked taro for the journey, they set sail and also left this island. All the grandchildren of his son... all of Vave’s grandchildren, the three sons of his son Iaidemalo, he took them with him when they left, and all the people who lived with him at that time.
As they left and went out to sea through the island’s channel, he said to his two daughters Hagalolo and Gauna, “You two, tell your husband, he should take us in the direction that will go and arrive at Tahiti to see if I can reunite with my son Iaidemalo.” So his two daughters told his instructions to their husband Gaeuli. Gaeuli steered their canoe in that direction so that they would go to Tahiti. So they sailed on the open sea, and sailed, and sailed all around. They sailed and sailed and sailed, but they didn’t reach any islands, they couldn’t reach Tahiti. They still hadn’t found the island of Tahiti.
Then one day, they found an island, they came to an island. They sailed up to that island, but when they went up and arrived at that island, they were mistaken, it wasn’t the island of Tahiti that they had arrived at. They had arrived at the island of Oneop. They arrived at Oneop and they briefly stayed there for a few days and a few nights. And as they stayed there, he decided they should leave that island as well. So they packed their things and departed, and left that island too.
But the day that they set sail and left Oneop, as they went down to their canoe and went out to the open sea, there was an old man bathing in the sea that day who was uncovering his coconut husks that were soaking in the water. And when the people set sail and left, he conjured an eel to go and stay inside the outrigger float of their canoe. So when they went out to the sea as they left Oneop, the eel stayed inside the outrigger float of their canoe. And it moved around and wiggled around inside the outrigger float, so that its head was sticking out in the front and the tail was sticking out the back, on the two sides of the float. The old man’s plan was to keep them from reaching Tahiti so Vave would never reunite with his son Iaidemalo.
They sailed around on the open sea, and they sailed and sailed but they weren’t able to find any islands, and they were almost out of food on their canoe. So Vave said to his two daughters, “You two, go ask your husband why we can’t seem to land on any islands and are running out of food on our canoe.” And Gaeuli had already foreseen why they couldn’t reach any islands. What Gaeuli saw in his vision was that if everyone died, and there was no one on the canoe except Vave, he could make landfall, or if Vave was no longer with them on the canoe, if it was only them in the canoe, then they would be able to make landfall. But Gaeuli was uncomfortable sharing this with Vave by telling his wives, Vave’s two daughters, so he was reluctant to tell them.
But Vave came back and asked for a second time, and said to his two daughters, “You two, please ask your husband why we haven’t made landfall yet.” And the second time, Gaeuli recounted what he saw in his divination to Vave’s two daughters. So his two daughters told him, Vave, and said, “According to Gaeuli, if we weren’t with you on the canoe, and it was only you alone, you would be able to find land, or if you weren’t here on the canoe, and only the rest of us stayed, we would be able to make landfall.”
And Vave thought to himself at that time, and said aloud, “Why should I be the one to reach land alone, causing many living people to die, because of something I have done wrong? It would be best for a single person to be gone, and the many living people to reach land.” That’s the thought that came to Vave at that time. So he fulfilled his decision that he made at that moment as he shared it with his children, saying, “Tomorrow, I will go and lay on top of the outrigger float of our canoe, between the supporting posts, and turn myself so I am in line with the float. And when the fish come and eat my body, and nibble at my flesh, then you all will catch them so you can eat them while we are sailing on the open sea. But there’s one fish that you can’t eat among the many fish that come to my body, namely the gada moana. Because that fish has eaten my sacred tattoo, which is the tattoo on my chest.” So he and his children altogether worshipped the gada moana, because that fish is the one who ate his tattoo.
So his children did as he told them. They grabbed all the fish that came to his body while he was laying on the outrigger between the two supporting posts, laying on top of the water, and his children were on the canoe. They did that for three nights on the ocean. And when the next morning came, he told his children, “When night falls tonight, and the morning comes tomorrow, you all look at the place where the sun comes up. And when you look, an image will come up with the rising of the sun, and then you’ll know that is the thing that will come and take me away, and you’ll make landfall.”
So when the morning came, and the sun separated from the horizon over the sea, his children saw an image coming from inside the sun. The sun came up overhead, but the image that they saw came directly toward them. As the sun continued to rise higher, the image came closer to them, and came closer and closer until it reached them and faced along the float where Vave was laying between the supporting pegs on top of the outrigger float. And Vave spoke to his children and said, “This is it, the thing that I told you about has arrived. This is the fish that was sent to take me away, so that you can go up and reach the island.” The whale remained at the float. And Vave told the whale, “Wait for me to talk to my children and say my final words to them, and I will tell you when I’m done so that you can take me with you.”
So he told his final words to his children, and when he finished, the whale opened its mouth from the outrigger side of their canoe and it sucked Vave into the mouth of the whale. And he told the whale, “Don’t bite your teeth yet, and wait to lower your lips, don’t close your lips, and I will say my last words between your teeth. This is my last testament to my children.”
So Vave spoke, and he was inside the mouth of the whale at that time. The whale closed its teeth, but didn’t yet close its lips. So he spoke and gave his will to his children and said, “When you go up and arrive at the island, and you’ve finished placing your canoe and all your supplies inland, you will plant the coconut seedling near your house, and after you place the coconut seedling, it will grow, and when it has eight leaves, the whale will arrive. And when the whale arrives, it is Dehegevaealigi who will cut it open. It cannot be Deagu, it must be Dehegevaealigi.” And they said yes to their father. And the whale, Vave told the whale to close its lips. So the whale closed its lips and covered its teeth, and it submerged into the water.
So his children hoisted their sail and sailed to the island. They turned around to come back to this island. Gaeuli resumed his original duty to take them, as the navigator. He was the one looking after the direction that they are going in. And as for Deagu, his job was to tack their sail. And as they were sailing, there were some mistakes, and their father scolded them and said to Deagu, “Shame on you, you are not like my son who went away from me, Iaidemalo. You are useless, the shit of Aalohi. You don’t know anything.” They continued on their way, and the whale took Vave and left. That was the last time they saw each other.
As they sailed and sailed, Gaeuli steered their canoe directly to this island. When morning came, the island appeared. They steered the canoe toward the channel. They came and came and reached the channel and they sailed into the lagoon. As they came in, the strong waves on that day threw them off, and they were thrown onto the reef by the crest of a wave on the left side of the channel, and their outrigger float broke off. And when their float broke off and fell away from their canoe, they saw the huge eel come out from inside the float and run away onto the ocean and leave. So Gaeuli realized that the old man in the Mortlocks, who was soaking and uncovering his coconut husks, that was what he had put inside the outrigger float of their canoe so that they would not make landfall. So the eel left, and they reached this island.
They came and lived on this island. And after a while, Hagadauanga grew up and became a man, the oldest child of Iaidemalo. He decided to look for a wife for himself, and when he found one, he got married and they lived together. As they lived there, one day, he and his wife decided that they should go and do some work for themselves on the other islets. They went and they ended at Tuila. They cleared out some land and they stocked up on their food, picking coconut and collecting coconut apples. They did their work that day until evening came. So they went down to the shore to their canoe.
As they went down, when they went down to their canoe at the shore, the sun sank fully into the water. It was dusk. And that day, the weather was so calm. And they said to each other then, how clear and calm the sea is. This phrase molomolo iho daahagi means that the sea and the sky are joined together because of how calm it is on that day. And there were some pieces of clouds lingering after the sun disappeared into the ocean that evening. How beautiful it was. And the wife of Hagadauanga said, “Wow, I wish I could climb up and sit on that red piece of cloud that is so beautiful.” And Hagadauanga said to his wife, “Why not, shall we go and do as you wish?” They went quickly then. They got back and picked taro for the journey and left, and they took anyone who wanted to go with them in their canoe that night. They departed and left, they all left.
And they sailed and sailed and sailed, but they couldn’t reach the piece of the sky that his wife wished for, that she would climb up and sit on the piece of the sky that was so beautiful. They just sailed all around the open sea like that. They came to several islands, but they didn’t want to go to them, because they were not sailing to look for land, but to look for the piece of sky for Hagadauanga’s wife to sit on, so that it would happen like she wished for, as she said on the shore of the islet of Tuila.
As they went, as they sailed and sailed, they came near an island. And some hitegaiaa (demons) came down and ate Hagadauanga’s wife and the people in their canoe, until they were all dead. Only Hagadauanga alone was left in the canoe. And he got an idea that he would take his sail line and weave a fishing net with it. So he took his sail line from the float side of the canoe and he wove his fishing net, and when he finished, he fastened it to the mast. So then the hitegaiaa came one at a time. It was his grandfather Vave that made it happen that way, so that Hagadauanga wouldn’t die and he would reach the island and bring his news. So he continued to catch the hitegaiaa until no more of them came down. This word hitegaiaa, they’re like the head of the wahoo, they’re ghosts. There’s no body, only a head, and they look like the head of a wahoo with its two lips and its teeth.
The last one, he looked up at what he had caught and pushed it into the water, and he saw the whale that was laying on the beach at that island. It was really his grandfather Vave who had returned from the afterlife. And now, Vave was no longer named Vave, he was called Ssamouli, Ssamoulidaane, because he had come from the afterlife to reveal himself to his grandson Hagadauanga. So he called to his grandson and said, “Hagadauanga! Come, my grandson, climb on my back and I will bring you home, and we will go back and deliver your news.” But his grandson replied harshly to his grandfather, and said, “Why should I? My wife has died, and everybody on my canoe has died, and you come and reveal yourself to me like this and talk to me? I won’t go with you.” So the whale lifted its tail and smacked Hagadauanga, and he disappeared inside the sand on the lagoon-side of that island. The whale retreated and returned to the sea.
These are the things I am able to tell, there are some other things, but I can’t remember them, to finish the story. These are the few things that I am able to tell that I know, that I already shared with you.