Hinaraure'a and the Caterpillar

This legend tahitian tells the story of Teheura who kidnaps Hinaraure'a, a beautiful surfer with whom he has fallen in love. So far nothing unusual, except that Teheura is... a big caterpillar. This is the legend of Hinaraure'a and the caterpillar.

Hinaraure'a and the caterpillar

Hinaraure'a and the caterpillar Teheura

Once upon a time there was a couple who lived in a chiefdom in faaone. The couple was chased away by the great chief. Not knowing where to go, they took shelter in a cave named Tu'itu'ipuapua in Hitiaa. However, the woman was pregnant. When the day of her delivery arrived, she was troubled… From this union was born a caterpillar, which they called Teheura. The parents fed this child and one day seeing that he was growing more and more, they fled. The caterpillar cried and then decided to dig a hole.

Years passed, the beast became a monster.

One day she moved away from her cave, she was looking for food. Arriving in the Mahaena district, the caterpillar saw a young woman surfing. Her name was Hinaraure'a and she was promised to a warrior. Teheura fell in love and wanted to marry him. This vahine was the greatest surfer on the East Coast of Tahiti. His parents tried to dissuade him because Hinaraure'a was married to Turi, the living god of light and darkness and also the master of the wind.

But nothing could stop Teheura. One day, he dives into the sea and swims to To'anui Rock in Mahaena. There, he “inflates the waves” to attract the surfer. Since then, this rock is called Puuutaihani.

At the same time, Turi, Hinaraure'a's husband, is at the bottom of the valley looking for a tree to use as a pole for their house. At sunrise, seeing the waves begin to form, surfers get in the water. Hinaraure'a joined them. Her mother tries to hold her back, but Hinaraure'a tells her: iore, iore », hence the name of To'aiore-ma given to the two shoals: To'aiore the big one and To’aiore the small, located in Anapu. These separate the two districts of Mahaena and Tiarei.

When Hinaraure'a takes her third wave, she disappears grabbed by Teheura. This one takes him by force in the valley of Vai'iha, in Faaone. Meanwhile, Hinaraure'a's husband can't find his pole at the bottom of the valley. The first trunk he cuts breaks, the second splits, the third breaks into a thousand pieces. "These signs indicate that something is happening at home," Turi thinks, deciding to go home as soon as possible.

"Hinaraure'a disappeared while surfing," she is told. Turi searches everywhere in vain. He then calls the god Taaroa who says to him: “Go get me a coconut”. Taaroa splits it, takes the lower half, grates it and then blows the contents out to sea. Nothing is happening.

Taaroa then takes the other half of the nut, grates it, and blows the contents north. A flat calm freezes the ocean. Turi then sees his wife off Vai'iha, near the islets Puruu and Oputotara, taken away by Teheura. He starts chasing them.

In Tiarei, Turi meets the two twins of Taata'auroa. They explain to him that to defeat this demon, it is necessary to build a large net out of nape (cords made with fibers of coconut fiber) and 'ie'ie (butterfly pandanus) intertwined with hair; sharpen a bamboo knife well then raise a large horde of dogs.

Teheura enters the cave in Vaihiria then leaves Hinaraure'a. He goes to the reef to eat sea urchins and giant clams. When he is sated, he comes home and falls asleep. Turi then arrives, covers Teheura with his net, pierces him with his spear then cuts him with his bamboo knife and throws the quarters of flesh to his dogs. He frees his wife and brings her back to Mahaena.