Sumalinga Moemoea

Raro 3rd series 297 From this Island I will name Beautiful Dreaming Sumalinga Moemoea the ocean plunges steeply beyond the reef as steeply as the mountains that rise up from the coastline. From the earliest recorded history of the island the almost vertical drop made it difficult for ships to anchor thus keeping the place safe in its isolation from the outside world.

There were shore whaleboats made from Yellow Hybiscus bark framing and Kauri wood planking and men and boys went out in these frail crafts to hunt the whale that came every year to breed. Just one captured at great risk sustained several villages for the entire year. Then the island people built a sailing ship now legend in the South Pacific to trade between the outer islands, the Takitumu and some say it was the black cat carved on her bows that caused her ill fated voyages to end always in disaster. She was finally wrecked in a hurricane and broke up on the reef, Sumalinga Moemoea.

These people have kept their land, their heritage although few now work it prefering to pay for the goods shipped in from overseas. There are endless disputes as to who has the right to what and extended family meetings as well as court cases to settle who gets which parcel and where the boundry ends, who married who and which family records date back the farthest. The lawyers on the Island get very rich it seems.

Robert Louis Stephenson named Tusitala by the islanders told the Samoan and Hawaiian people that their land must be used for the sustenance of men. For that God gave it he wrote, if they did not heed this warning the land would sooner or later leave them and go into other hands. They would be tempted to sell for money by people who came from other lands in order to buy things and so would in the end be forced to work for others in order not to starve.

Here the people cannot sell their land Sumalinga Moemoea, still dreaming they bury their loved ones in front of their houses and look to the children who have moved away to live in lands where they can work for money to buy things, to one day come back and tend them so they will not be forgotten. Sumalinga Moemoea.   Raro 3rd series 296

The Takitumu