Monday, 25 August 2014

Sina and the Eel

This is a legend from Samoa. The legend started with a girl named Sina. She was the most beautiful girl in the village. She had a kind heart, long black hair and smooth skin. Word of Sina's beauty reached the prince of Fiji and he turned himself into an eel and swam all the way to Samoa to find Sina. When he saw Sina he fell in love with her instantly. Everywhere Sina went, the eel would follow. She would try to escape but it was no use, the eel would always find her because he was deeply in love with her. 

Sina fled to another village to live, she looked behind her but the eel was not to be seen. One day Sina was going to fetch some water from the rock pool. As she was drawing water, beady eyes stared at her from beneath the water. The girl cried out and shouted for help. The chief and people heard this and ran over and captured the eel.

Before he was killed, the  eel asked Sina to accept his last gift as a token of his love, that when he died, she would plant his head in the ground. From his head, a tree will grow that Sina and her people could use. The trunk will be used to build houses and canoes, the leaves will be used to weave mats and baskets, the husks will be used for fire, and the fruits, for food and drink. The eel, with his dying breath, told Sina that she will remember him every time she drank from the fruit. 

Sina obeyed and planted the eel's head in the ground. Not long after, a tree began to grow from where Sina had buried the eel's head. This was the first coconut tree. As the eel had said, the trunk was used to build houses and canoes, its leaves were excellent for weaving baskets and sleeping mats, the husks for fire, and the fruits for food and drink. And every time Sina drank from the coconut, she saw the eel's face, as if she were kissing him. 
Eyes and mouth of the eel

The three holes represent the eel's two eyes and mouth. Now here is some history:
The rock pool where Sina saw the eel is a sacred pool in the village Safune, in Samoa. It is called ' Mata a le alelo' which means in English 'Eyes of the demon', the words Sina cried out when she was startled by the eel.
Mataalealelo rock pool in Safune, Savai'i in Samoa
The coconut tree, the eel

The coconut husk being used to start a fire for cooking.


  1. Maranita, This legend is very interesting.
    Hope you are enjoying it.

    1. Thank you Ida, I love learning about my culture's legends:).