JANETSSAMOA.COM PRESENTS – Sina ma le Tuna / Sina and the Eel
The Samoan Legend of Sina and the Eel (Tuna) is one that interprets our ancestors understanding of the origin of the coconut tree, regarded in Polynesia as the “Tree of Life”
A beautiful girl named Sina cared for a pet eel and as the eel grew it fell in Love with Sina. This made Sina afraid and she ran away, but, the Eel found her wherever she fled. One day as she went to fetch water from the village pool she found the Eel staring up at her. She cried “E pupula mai, ou mata o le alelo!” “You stare at me with eyes of a demon!” Village chiefs came and killed the eel. As the eel lay dying he said to Sina:
Sina e, ai ni ou alofa
Ou tufaaga o’u fofoga
Ia e toina i se pa toga
A tupu ae ola
Ai iai ni ona fua
Tai tautasi tai tau lua
Ae o ni ona lau
Tou laga ni tapaau
Ma ni ili-tea tali toelau
E tali ai aloga pe a sau
Sina, let us part in love
When I am killed,
Ask for my head as your portion.
Take and plant it in a stone wall.
Its fruit you will drink,
And use as water carriers, single and double.
With its leaves you will plait mats and roofing,
Also a fan to fan yourself
When meditating on your love for me.
In the nuts you will see my face,
Which every time you drink will be kissed by you.
One can still see the face of the Eel in the coconut . The Pool where this Love story was forged remains in the small village of Matavai, Safune, and is open to visitors. It is now known as “Mata o le Alelo” after Sina’s words to the Eel. As you sit by the pool, remember Tuna’s Love for Sina and the origin of the coconut tree which is central to our everyday life. Now, Sina can no longer hide from the Tuna, he is with her every day, she sees reflections of him in the leaves that fan her, the roof over her head, the containers she uses to fetch water, the mat she lays on to sleep at night, the oil she uses to adorn herself and kisses him in warm embrace when she drinks from the fruit of life.
Janet’s Presents “Sina Moana”
Sina and the Tuna forever entwined in Space and Time.
Original Acrylic on Canvas a collaboration of Janet’s Resident Artist D. Kamu and Janet’s Design Team.