Marshallese Legends and Traditions

How a large pool was formed on Mejit

There are only two pieces of land that are not atolls in the Ratak Chain of the Marshalls, Jemo which is uninhabited, and Mejit, on which people live. On Mejit there is a very big pond in the center of the island that people say was made by a monster a long time ago. At that time there were only two inhabitants there, an old man and his wife. Each evening the old man would go to the center of the island to make copra,[38] and he would remain there into the night. His wife would stay at their home preparing food. One night while away from home, the old man saw something shining in the distance, but he did not go to investigate to see what it was.

The next night the old man returned to his place of work in the middle of Mejit. He suddenly realized that the shining area had become larger, and that it was a pond reflecting moonlight. He returned home to tell his wife that he was going to spend the whole night there to see what was happening. The next evening, his wife prepared food and the old man left to visit the pond.

During the night he noticed that someone or something was working to make the pool larger. He returned to the area several more nights and watched. Then one night he realized that it was a monster working on the pond, and the old man, very much afraid, hurried home to tell his wife. They realized that their lives were in danger from the monster, so they made a plan to slay it before the monster killed them. The man would lure the monster away from the pond, and his wife would entice the monster into their house.

The old man went to the pond for a final visit. When he saw the creature leave the water, he threw stones to attract him. When the monster chased the old man, he ran towards the house where his wife was standing in the doorway. The old man went quickly inside, hid, and waited. When the monster saw the old lady, he ran into the house after her, and was stabbed in the back and killed with a spear by the old man who was hiding behind the front door.

Today the island of Mejit is peaceful and the monster is just a memory. His pond, though, is in the center of the island and is enjoyed as a swimming place by all of the people.

[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