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Avatele Myths and Legends

Mataginifale and the Turtle

Mataginifale and the Turtle.

Retold by Ofania Halo from a traditional story

SUMMARY:

Mataginifale, a beautiful hiapo making woman from Fetuna took a joy ride at sea with the turtle. She used the turtle’s head to crack open the coconut shell when she was hungry, thus making turtle’s head short, or so the people believed.
There was a woman by the name Mataginifale who was well known for her hiapo making. The story told was that she lived in the middle of Niue at a place call Fetuna, in Paluki, the land between Alofi and Liku.
Sometimes she came to Palitoa to spend her days at the beach in Oneonepata, making her hiapo.

Mataginifale made hiapo from barks she stripped from mulberry sticks. She used a piece of wood to beat and pound the mulberry bark until they became soft and pliable to be used without breaking them.

She used sea water to wash away the sediment until the hiapo was clean and ready.

One morning, Mataginifale was working on her hiapo, a Turtle stopped by to admire her work. He complimented her on her good looks and cleverness. He flattered her and she was smitten.
Then one day, the turtle invited Mataginifale to go for a ride on his back. Mataginifale did not hesitate. She wanted to see beyond the horizon.

She packed some food and drink into a basket and they headed out into the horizon.

When Mataginifale was thirsty, she drank from her coconuts.

When she was hungry, she asked the turtle how she could open her coconut. Turtle replied, “crack it on my head”, and she did.

The Niue people believed that this is the reason why Turtle’s head is short.

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Ko Mataginifale mo e Fonu.

Ha ha i ai e fifine ne higoa ko Mataginifale, ne kua mahuiga lahi haana a mata gahua ko e taute hiapo. Ne talahau mai pe he ko e nofo a ia he loto uho tonu he motu ko Niue he kaina ne higoa ko Fetuna i Paluki he hala hake i Alofi ki Liku.

Ha i ai falu a magaaho ne hifo a ia ki Palitoa i Oneonepata ke taute hiapo.

Fakaaoga e Mataginifale e tau kili akau ne fole mai he tau akau ko e ma ke taute aki e hiapo. Tuki tuki aki e tau ka akau e tau kili akau ato molulu mo e mitaki ke fakaaoga kae nakai malolo lolo.

Fakaaoga e vai tahi ke uta ke he aki e tau nefunefu .

Ne hau a ia he maaga ko Fetuna he uho he motu ke taute moe tuki e tau hiapo haana he mataafaga I Palitoa, Oneonepata.

Ne fakaaoga e ia e patu akau pauaki ke tuki aki e tau hiapo, ti tahifo kehe puke tahi ke fufulu moe fakamea.

Koe taha aho ne fae tuki hiapo a ia he mataafaga, ne hake mai e fonu moe mamata kehe haana gahua lima. Ne vagahau faka hakehake atu moe navanava lahi e fonu kia ia moe pehe ko e fulufuluola ha ia ha Mataginifale moe haana tau hiapo.
Kua fiafia lahi a ia moe hohoko haana manava.

Ne hoko kehe taha aho kua liu mai e fonu moe ole kia Mataginifale koe manako nakai a ia ke fano ke evaeva ki moana? Ke heke he tua he fonu.
Ne nakai fakauaua e manatu ha Mataginifale moe tali atu E.
Ne tauteute e haana tau kai moe tau mena inu ti hopo kehe tua he fonu moe o a laua.

Koe mogo ka fia inu ai a ia kua inu taha fua niu haana.

Koe mogo ne hoge ai a ia kua huhu atu kehe fonu koe hafagi fefe e gati niu ke kai a loto?
Tali atu e fonu, “tuki mai he ulu haaku”,
Koe mena haia ne ku ai e ulu he fonu tali mai kehe vaha nei.