Marshallese Legends and Traditions


Leloran wanted to catch fish on the reef, and had another fisherman in the boat. The other suddenly disappeared. Leloran asked " Where is the other man? " He had been dragged down by an octopus, kouj, however, and had been killed.

Immediately the kouj surfaced and wanted to catch Leloran. But he quickly paddled away and sang:

Paddle quickly ashore

from the western sea, Leloran

The kouj, however, followed him ashore. Leloran ran away from it as fast as he could and hid himself in a fish net which belonged to Letao.

The kouj went to Letao and asked him " Did you see the boy who came in this direction? " Letao answered that he had not seen him. Again the kouj asked " Why donžt you sing a nice song? "Letao answered " You sing first. "But the kouj wanted Letao to sing first. Thereupon Letao made a charm against it.

Then the kouj fell asleep, whereupon Letao quickly set fire to the house so that the octopus burned. Then Leloran came out and went home.[48]

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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.

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