Tetiaroa, the bird island has a very beautiful legend about these splendid animals…
Long time ago, in the village of Tetiaroa lived a young boy named Vaitahi. This young 10 year old villager liked to walk along the beaches of the island. One day, during one of his beautiful walks, he had the surprise of coming across a splendid bird which he had never seen, which had fine and multicoloured feathers – more scintillating than the stars.
Vaitahi was dazzled by such beauty. The bird then started to dance in front of the young boy who was charmed by it. The beautiful animal landed on one of Vaitahi’s shoulders and from that moment they became inseparable. They played and had fun together in the lagoon.
In the village, everyone became acquainted with the bird and appreciated it, that’s where the name Manuhere came from. Suddenly one day, the beautiful animal became ill which prevented it from eating and from flying and which made it fall into a deep sleep.
Panicked and saddened, the villagers tried to save Manuhere with a leaf based remedy, but it didn’t work.
The coconuts and the birds tried to fan him and the flowers tried to get him to breathe their perfumes in, but he was still asleep.
Vaitahi asked the goddess of the sea – Vaihiti for help who recommended giving him a massage with a special oil, but Manuhere still did not move. An ornithologist on the island was called for and tried cardiac massages, but nothing worked.
Despaired and discouraged, the villagers sat down around the lifeless bird. Vaitahi was in tears. They all started to sing melodies of love and friendship which went up to the skies all night long.
When the sun rose on the horizon, Manuhere started to gently move, opened his eyes, moved his wings and started to get up. “Saved! Manuhere is saved! ” everyone shouted. What a miracle! Everyone was happy and hugged the bird, Vaitahi was relieved…
Later, when they asked the bird what had brought him back to life, he explained that it was love, the love which he had felt all around him and which had penetrated his heart and awakened it.