Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Legend of Veimomuni Cave

The little village I live in is home to Veimomuni Cave and this morning Ane and I were talking about all the interesting legends and tales found in the Tongan culture.
She reminded me of the story of the 'Ahiohio and Mt. Talau and then asked me if I knew the story behind the freshwater cave that sits a mere two blocks away from my shack.

I told her I didn't know about it.

So we sat down and she shared with me the following:

Once upon a time in Tonga there lived a beautiful girl named Vei with hair that sparkled like the sun. Her home was a freshwater cave and every day she would climb out of the cave, sit beneath a large mango tree on a rock and dry her hair. Because her hair was so beautiful that it could be seen many kilometers away, and because of this it drew the attention of a boy named Muni who worked on a plantation on the tip of a peninsula which had a clear view of the cave. 
Every day the beautiful girl would dry her hair, the boy would watch from afar wondering if he would ever meet her. The girl eventually noticed the boy across the way and she hoped he would not come over to her cave. 
One day after working on his plantation, the boy created a man from sticks and dressed him up in his clothing. He put him on the shore - the same shore that where he stood day after day looking at Vei. He then jumped into the water and swam to the girl, but she thought the boy remained on his side of the water. 
As Muni came out of the water, Vei got very scared. Muni declared his love to Vei, but Vei said "You are a stupid boy. I will give you my cave if you leave me alone." Muni was very surprised to learn that the cave was full of water, but Vei and Muni lived in the cave together for many years. (Veimomuni translates to Vei and Muni).
If you visit the cave today you are encouraged to bring the ugliest rock you can find and throw it into the cave before you go swimming.

Now I have no idea why Vei thought Muni was stupid.
Nor do I understand why we need to be throwing ugly rocks.
These are answers I'm still looking for. I'll let you know if I find them.

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