Tuvaluan Legends

The Man Who Married a Dolphin


dolph-anx.gif (42972 bytes)The most common dolphin in Tuvalu is the Bottlenose Dolphin, which normally swims ashore and in the lagoons. It relates to a story from the island of Niutao long before the discovery of Tuvalu.

The story about a young man who married a dolphin. This young man had a plantation of young coconut trees, and one morning he found out that some coconut trees (white young leaves) have been all cut. Few weeks later the same thing happened.

This man then began to investigate but unfortunately he did not manage to find the intruder(s). Few weeks later the same thing happened again, but this time he realized that it happens during the full moon.

On the next full moon, before sunset he hides in his plantation. He waited and saw the moon was rising from the horizon, then he heard voices of young women and men. They came straight to his plantation and started cutting the leaves. (These are the leaves normally used for making dancing skirts, please refer to our 1991 Christmas stamp issue)

The man stood up and shouted at them, and they ran towards the sandy beach. He followed them and managed to grab one of the young women. The rest went straight into the sea, and amazingly they turned into dolphins when they dived into the waves.

The man took this young woman to the village and married her. The couple had two sons One day the wife got so sick and asked her husband that she wanted to visit her family in the sea. She said farewell to her children and went towards the coming waves. Suddenly she turned into a dolphin and swam towards the school of dolphins waiting some distance away.

The two sons grew up strong and intelligent, and became the best fishermen on the island, because their mother taught them how to catch fish.



TuvaluIslands.com Home