One of the best known gods in Fijian legends is the fierce sea-monster Dakuwaqa. He was the guardian of the reef entrance of the islands, fearless, headstr ong and jealous.
Dakuwaqa el dios tiburón
Uno de los dioses más conocidos en las leyendas de Fiji es el feroz monstruo marino Dakuwaqa. Él es el guardián de la entrada por los arrecifes a las islas, es audaz, testarudo y celoso. Con frecuencia se transformó en tiburón y viaja alrededor de todas las islas enfrentándose a los otros guardianes de los arrecifes.
Un día salió para el grupo insular Lomaiviti y después de salir victorioso del área enrumbó hacia Suva. El guardián de esos arrecifes desafió a Dakuwaqa y se desató una gran lucha. Hubo tanto jaleo y perturbación que grandes olas iban rodaron por la desembocadura del río Rewa causando inundaciones por el valle, muchos kilómetros tierra adentro.
Una vez más Dakuwaqa resultó vencedor y siguió su camino. Cerca de la isla de Beqa, su viejo amigo Masilaca, otro dios tiburón, le habló de la gran fuerza de los dioses que guardan la isla Kadavu y astutamente le preguntó si los desafiaría. Dakuwaqa reaccionó inmediatamente dirigiéndose a la isla Kadavu y, al acercarse el arrecife, encontró un pulpo gigante que custodiaba el paso. El pulpo tenía cuatro de sus tentáculos anclados en el coral y los otros cuatro en alto. Dakuwaqa lo embistió frenéticamente pero el pulpo lo enrolló con sus tentáculos y lo apretó poniendolo al borde de la muerte. Dakuwaqa pidió clemencia y le dijo al pulpo que si le perdonaba la vida, nunca dañaría a nadie del pueblo de la isla Kadavu, dondequiera que se encuentren, en cualquier parte de las aguas de Fiji. Así que el pulpo lo liberó y Dakuwaqa cumplió su promesa, y el pueblo de Kadavu no tienen miedo a los tiburones cuando nada o pescar.
Incluso hoy en día, cuando los pescadores de Kadavu salen a faenar de noche, reverentemente vierten un tazón de yaqona en el mar como ofrenda para el dios Dakuwaqa.
Los altos jefes de Cakaudrove son considerados los descendientes directos de Dakuwaqa y su tiburón totémico aparece en ocasiones en que noticia trascendentales están a punto de ser anunciadas.
La yaqona o kava-kava (Piper methysticum) se emplea entre todos los pueblos polinesios para un brebaje muy apreciado
Dakuwaqa The Shark God
One of the best known gods in Fijian legends is the fierce sea-monster Dakuwaqa. He was the guardian of the reef entrance of the islands, fearless, headstr ong and jealous. He frequently changed himself into the form of a shark and traveled around the islands fighting all the other reef guardians.
One day he set out for the Lomaiviti group and after emerging victorious from this area he decided to set out for Suva. The guardian of the reef here challenged Dakuwaqa and a great struggle took place. There was such a disturbance that great waves went rolling into the mouth of the Rewa River causing valleys to be flooded for many miles inland.
Dakuwaqa once more emerged as victor and proceeded on his way. Near the island of Beqa his old friend Masilaca, another shark god, told him of the great strength of the gods guarding Kadavu island and slyly asked Dakuwaqa whether he would be afraid to meet them. Like a shot Dakuwaqa sped off towards Kadavu and, on nearing the reef, found a giant octopus guarding the passage. The octopus had four of its tentacles securely gripping the coral and the other four were held aloft. Rushing furiously in, Dakuwaqa soon found that he was being almost squeezed to death as the octopus had coiled its tentacles around him. Realizing his danger Dakuwaqa begged for mercy and told the octopus that if his life was spared he would never harm any people from Kadavu wherever they may be in any part of Fiji waters.
So the octopus released him and Dakuwaqa kept his promise, and the people of Kadavu have no fear of sharks when out fishing or swimming.
Even today when local fishermen go out for a night’s fishing they reverently pour a bowl of yaqona into the sea for Dakuwaqa.
The high chiefs of Cakaudrove are considered the direct descendants of Dakuwaqa and their totem shark will appear to the reigning chief on occasions when momentous news is about to the announced.
15/3/2008 - Except for the people of the Pacific islands, no other civilization transformed the shark into a symbol or a divine being
THE SHARK GOD
The islands of Lau cover many sea leagues. For long the people of the northern Lau Islands paid tribute to the lords of Cakaudrove on Vanua Levu, but those of Lakeba in the southern islands refused to acknowledge their overlordship, because they belonged to Dukawaqa, the Shark God.
Tokairahe was the son of the god Tui Lakeba and the goddess Liku Cava. There was great skill and no little magic in Tokairahe’s fingers – the fingers that fashioned the enchanted hooks of Tokairahe. It was Dakuwaqa, the enormous Shark God, who was the king of all fish. He realised that his reign was at an end unless he could get possession of these hooks. He left his home and swam through the sea until he reached the island of Lakeba. For three days he waited off shore, drifting in with the tide, lurking in the shadows and taking refuge in the shadow of the reef when the tide ebbed. Nothing that happened inside the reef escaped him and on the third day his vigil was rewarded.
He saw Tokairahe come out of his house, naked except for the shimmering glory of the shell fish hooks which he wore round his neck. The young man ran into the water and struck out towards the reef. Silently the Shark God sank towards the bottom of the lagoon, gliding like a shadow deep below the surface. He turned over and saw the body of Tokairahe suspended above him. The huge form of the Shark God was like a sea spirit. Before Tokairahe was aware of him the Shark God caught the necklace in his teeth, lifted it over the young man’s head and, with a flick of his tail, sped off toward the open sea.
His triangular fin was raised high above the water like a sail as he set out for his home in the north. Tokairahe gave a cry of grief, for his shell necklace was precious to him. His friend, Tui Vutu, heard the cry and when he saw the dark fin cutting through the waves, he realised what had happened. He changed himself into a bird and flew after the Shark God.
The Shark God had a good start in the long race, but Tui Vutu’s wings were strong and his love for Tokairahe great. Slowly he gained on the huge fish and just as it was taking refuge in its home in the sea off Vanua Balavu, he caught up with it. He plunged downwards, snatched the necklace and returned to Lakeba, where he returned it to his friend. Tokairahe was grateful. He conferred the rank of Mataivalu Kalou on Tui Vutu, so that he became the leading man among his people.
It was because Tokairahe had overcome the Shark God Dakuwaqa that the people of Lakeba proclaimed their independence. Many years passed by. The white man came to the islands of Fiji, of Lau, of Lakeba and Vanua Balavu, of Moala and Ono, of Rotuma and all the other far-flung islands and said that the lords of the northern islands of Lau still maintained the customs of their fathers and carried gifts to Vanua Levu.
Young Girls Preparing Kava Outside of the Hut Whose Posts Are Decorated wih Flowers
We have slept through the night and day now dawns
The sun is high in the heavens
Go uproot the yaqona and bring it…
Prepare the root and proclaim it!
The acclamation rose skywards,
Reaching distant lands!
- Ancient Fijian Kava Chant