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Taburimai


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Oceania

In Gilbertese mythology, the son of Bakoa, a semi-divine ancestor. The Gilbert islanders distinguished between three kinds of beings: the gods, anti, the demi-god ancestors, anti-ma aomata, and men, aomata.

The first offspring of Bakoa and his wife, Nei Nguiriki, were all fishes. Later were born the man Taburimai, and his brother Teanoi, ‘the hammer-headed shark’. Because Taburimai had a different shape, the fish children were ashamed and plotted his death. Teanoi warned Bakoa and he sent Taburimai away on the back of the shark brother. Having landed the threatened man on the island of Samoa, Teanoi gained the sky and became a star. Taburimai stayed on earth, sailed among the islands, and married a woman. Their son was the adventurous Te-ariki-n-tarawa, who claimed uekera, the sacred tree that reached to heaven, and took to wife Ne Te-reere, the tree goddess. From their union came Kirata-n-te-rerei, ‘the most beautiful of men’, the founder ancestor whose handsomeness was enough to beget children without meeting a woman.

Subjects: Religion.


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