Tuesday, August 15, 2006

A Fijian legend - Rosiwa the Turtle

Rosiwa the Turtle
This is the beginning of a long tale about how the Tongans came to Fiji, though it starts off in Samoa. It’s adapted from a translation by Lorima Fison of a story given by the Tui Nayau in Lau, about 1890.
My version starts like this introduction: (but I’m still working on it for a book for my grandchildren.) I'm not sure of the tone of the drawings - should they be comical or serious and respectful? I'm only at the stage of trying out ideas.

I sit beneath the cool tavola nut tree,
Dream of a Samoan dwarf who was shipwrecked,
A boy who was struck dumb and who never grew old,
A Tongan who sailed to Fiji, not by choice,
A heroic green turtle and the King of the Sky.
Au moce koto se ni biau
I sleep on the foam of the surge of the reef.
Isa oi-awa Rosiwa


Pandabonium said...

A book of Fijian children's stories would find a wide audience. I like the drawings you show here.

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

I'll post some more of the poem/story and pictures in a few day's time. Lekapai of course is the Fiji nickname for a dwarf. In the Fison version the Samoan fisherman is called Lekabai, but there is a Tongan story with similarities where he is called Lekapai.