Marshallese Legends and Traditions

Origin of the breadfruit

Once the only breadfruit in the Marshall Islands was on Jelbon Islet, in Mili Atoll.

A woman of Mili had seven sons, all one-eyed except the youngest, who was normal. The brothers called the normal boy "crazy".

The mother sent all the boys, save the youngest, to steal breadfruit from the lone tree across the lagoon. She would caution them to be quiet while stealing the breadfruit. One day the "crazy" brother with the two eyes hid in the canoe and went across the lagoon with the others. Once on Jelbon Islet he yelled, making so much noise that the owner of the tree came out and chased all the boys away.

When they got back across the lagoon to their home island a huge dog appeared. [20]

The dog frightened all but the youngest brother to death. This remaining brother killed the dog with a canoe mast. He then planted the foot of the youngest of his dead brothers, the only one who had ever treated him well. He also planted a branch of the breadfruit tree from the islet. The foot grew into a breadfruit tree while the branch grew into a very special sort of breadfruit tree with superior fruit.[21]

[Next Page]      [Back to Table of Contents]

Bibliographic citation for this document

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (1998). Marshallese Legends and Traditions Second edition. Albury:

Dirk H.R. Spennemann, Institute of Land, Water and Society, Charles Sturt University, P.O.Box 789, Albury NSW 2640, Australia.

select from the following...
World War II

Digital Micronesia-An Electronic Library & Archive is provided free of charge as an advertising-free information service for the world community. It is being maintained by Dirk HR Spennemann, Associate Professor in Cultural Heritage Management,Institute of Land, Water and Society and School of Environmental & Information Sciences, Charles Sturt University, Albury, Australia. The server space and technical support are provided by Charles Sturt University as part of its commitment to regional engagement. Environmental SciencesInformation Sciences

© Dirk Spennemann 1999– 2005
Marshall Islands Kosrae CNMI Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Guam Wake Pohnpei FSM Federated States of Micronesia Yap Chuuk Marshall Islands politics public health environment culture WWII history literature XXX Cultural Heritage Management Micronesian Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences CNMI German Colonial Sources Mariana Islands Historic Preservation Spennemann Dirk Spennemann Dirk HR Spennemann Murray Time Louis Becke Jane Downing Downing