Reports of Lady Sina's beauty had spread to the four corners of Samoa and the courting parties, loaded with pigs chickens and other fine gifts, soon flocked to her house. Tulifauiave and Tulau’ena, the sons of Tafitofau and Ogafau, also came. Their gift, however, consisted in a mere pig’s foot.


Sina, smitten by Tula’ena’s handsomeness, said, “Sir, approach; let us partake of your gift.” The other courtiers were not a little chagrined to see Sina accept that miserable pig’s foot whilst she spurned their valuable gifts.


When all the occupants of the house were asleep, Sina eloped with Tulau’ena and they lived together happily. Tulifauiave, however, was jealous of his brother and thought of some means to kill him.


One day he said to Tulau’ena, “Come along, let us go bonito fish­ing.” Tulau’ena went to his wife and said, “Sina, my brother wants me to go fishing with him, but I know that he intends to kill me. Now, if you see the waves break white you will know that I am still alive; but if you see them break bloody, you will know that I am dead.”


The fishers set out and Sina posted herself on the seashores. The brothers were so successful that their canoe almost sank with the number of bonitos they caught. They pointed their canoe toward the land. When they were near the reef, Tulifauiave began to cut up the fish and throw the pieces to Tulau’ena, saying, “Catch!” His brother caught them. Then Tulifauiave deliberately misdirected his aim and the bonito fell into the sea. Immediately he ordered, “Jump in and get that piece of fish.” Tulau’ena dived into the sea, but as soon as his back reappeared on the surface, his brother pierced it with a spear and the boy died.


Sina was still sitting on the beach. Suddenly she saw a bloody wave. She knew that her husband was dead. So she set out to look for him. Reaching a pigeon she asked if it had seen her husband. The pigeon replied, No I haven't seen the pig; I don’t know where he is.” Sina said, “Shame on you! In retaliation for your disrespect, I, am going to put on your nose this stone with which I weight my pandanus leaves.” This is why the pigeon now has a hump on its nose.


Sina continued on her way, She reached the white dove and asked the same question. The dove replied, “The chief just went past here.” Sina said, “As a reward for your kindness take these white feathers from my pandanus mat to decorate your breast.”


Sina went on and on and reached the sega (parrot). The lady chanted. “Sega, bird of the chiefs, may I ask you a question?  Has my darling gone past here?” The sega replied, “Go right ahead. When you reach lady Matamolali, hit her in the face with the end of a coconut leaf.” Sina said, “As a reward for your kindness take these red fea­thers from my fine mat to adorn your breast.”


Sina continued on her way and reached Lady Matamolali. She hit her face with the coconut leaf. The lady cried and Sina asked her if she had seen her husband. Matamolali replied, “Wait here; I’ll go and look for him.”


Matamolali then went to Pulotu, the underworld, and uncovered the Water of Life. A long row of young men and maidens came rushing down a stream, Tulau’ena among them. Immediately the lady grabbed him and plunged him into the Water of Life. Tulau’ena came back to life and Matamolali took him down to her house.


When they came near, Sina jumped up and hid herself. Matamolali called, “Girl, reach a cloth for this young man; his own is all wet.” Sina passed a lavalava. Tulau’ena no sooner had it, than he clicked with this teeth. Matamolali asked, “Why do you click your teeth?” The young man replied, “This lavalava is just like the one I used to share with my wife.” The lady then called out to Sina, “Pass a comb so that this young man may comb his hair.”  Tulau’ena took the comb and again clicked his teeth, saying, “This comb is exactly like the one I shared with my wife.”


These reminders of his wife made Tulau’ena very sad, so the lady said, “Sine, come quickly; this young man is going to pass out for love of you.” Sina then jumped out from her hiding place and embraced her husband. They hugged and kissed each Other and wept for joy. Then they made their home with the lady and lived happily for ever after.



 © George Thurman, 1999