How Tabiteuea Got Its Name?

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How Tabiteuea got its name? One of the islands in Kiribati (Central Pacific) There are legends and myths that tell how certain places in the Pacific got their names. In Kiribati, each island has its own story on how it got its name from which the people of the island claim the position of their island in the creation of Kiribati. The people of Tabiteuea, the largest island in Kiribati claim that Tabiteuea was the first island created or the oldest and therefore should be respected by the rest of the islands (Talu, 1979). According to Tabiteuean myth, in the beginning Tungaru (now known as Kiribati) extends to Makin from the north and to Tabora (now known as Tuvalu) and Tamoa (now known as Samoa) from the south was nothing but just a vast ocean with the tree called Te Uea ni Kai meaning the chief of trees emerged in the center which became the home of ghosts (Naboua, 2012). Every ghost wanted to live on the very top of the tree so fighting between the ghosts in trying to win over the others in order to be able to live on the very top was out of control. Every ghost never allow any other to live above another, therefore, each forced its way to the top by pulling down the one above until almost all ghosts occupied the top branches. The weight of the crowded ghosts at the top branches bent the tree to the ground and at last uprooted it (Naboua, 2012). The broken branches drifted away from the tree and turned to other islands in the vast ocean of Tungaru except Samoa which was created from the tip of Te Uea ni Kai taproot emerged during its uprooting. The tip of the taproot emerged out at the far southern end of the ocean and grew into a big tree called Te Kai n Tiku Aba literary means the tree that lands or islands stayed upon. When the root forced its way upward from down below the ocean bed, it pulled out big rocks. The rocks dried up and became the two main islands of Samoa with rough surface or mountainous. The tree became the home of ghosts. It was burn from its...
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