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A legendary Tui Tonga, king of Tonga. ‘There first appeared on the earth the human offspring of a worm or grub, and the head of the worm became Tui Tonga. His name was Kohai. … The descendants of the worm, his subjects, became very numerous’

One day, long ago, the god Eitumatupua climbed down from the sky on a great tree, and he took as his wife Ilaheva, a worm descendant. The god then returned to the sky, while the woman and their child, Ahoeitu, remained on earth. As soon as Ahoeitu grew up he determined to visit his father above; Ilaheva told him that he would find Eitumatupua catching pigeons. So Ahoeitu climbed the tree, met his father, and in joy they pressed noses. Yet the happiness of Eitumatupua over the arrival of the earthly son angered his celestial brothers, the children he had begotten in the sky. They, therefore, ambushed Ahoeitu and tore him to pieces, then cooked and ate him. Eitumatupua suspected the crime and ordered Ahoeitu's brothers to ‘come and vomit’. Having recovered all the pieces of the earthly son, the sky father remade him with the aid of magic herbs. Then he said: ‘You have killed Ahoeitu. He shall descend as the ruler of Tonga, while you, his brothers, remain here.’ But they pleaded for forgiveness and in time Ahoeitu's brothers were allowed to climb down the great tree. The descendants of Ahoeitu, which means ‘day has dawned’, became successively Tui Tonga.

Subjects: Religion.

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