Legends
Narrative

How Bora Bora was Formed – Tahiti

So there is another Tahitian legend about how Bora Bora was formed, as well as the hole in the mountain of Moorea. 

One night there was a group of thieves who went to Bora Bora and tried to steal the island to take as their own.  They were pulling part of the island when Hiro realized what was going on, so he threw his lance all the way to Mo’orea to wake up the rooster and make him sing and scare off the thieves.  But as he threw his lance, he threw it across Mo’orea which made the whole in the top, which we now call Mouaputa.  He succeeded in waking up the rooster, who started singing, and scared the thieves away because they thought the sun was rising.  So they dropped the part of the island they were pulling and ran away, and that’s why there’s a piece of island called Toopua in the middle of the pass in Bora Bora and a hole in the mountain of Mo’orea.

Tam grew up in Tahiti, and her family has been there for many generations.  Her grandfather, the one who told her this story, was the primary storyteller in her family.  He spoke Tahitian, but Tam does not, so the Tahitian-language elements have been lost.  But according to Tam this was her favorite story, and her grandfather told her it quite often.

My best friend from high school, Montana, used to go to Bora Bora all the time with her family.  I vaguely remember her telling me a story similar to this one, but not exactly the same.  I believe that in her story, Hiro was the one trying to steal the island, and I don’t remember her saying anything about Mouaputa or Toopua.  I feel like hers was more tourist-y, and didn’t have the same amount of details Tam’s story had.  I feel like there is a disconnect between tourist versions of regional folktales and the versions told by the locals.

 

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