The marvellous legend telling the story of the Marquesas islands creation is still enchanting…
“It was at the time of the initial night. Oatea lived with his wife Atanua. They did not have a house.
One day, Atanua said to Oatea her husband: “What is this life without a house?”. Lit up by divine forces on what he ought to do, he was satisfied, and that very evening the husband called to his wife: “tonight I will build our house.”.
The night was drawing in, Oatea stood up and called upon his forces. Once the invocation finished, he chose the site of the house. Then, having put two pillars up, he said: “It is Ua Pou!”.
Then, Oatea having taken the ridge tile beam, placed it on the two pillars and attached it with coconut fibre rope and said: “It is Hiva Oa!”.
Then, he fixed the front poles, the beam of the porch, the supporting beams and the lower beam. Oatea then fixed the front rafters, starting from the ridge tile beam up to the long beam, up to the rear stone slabs. He then said: “It is Nuku Hiva!”
What to cover the house with? With coconut palms. The cover was made according to the 9 part technique. He then said: “It is Fatuiva!”. Oatea dug a hole to perfect his work even though sunset was nigh.
The voice of Atanua shouted out: “The luminous image is sparkling.” He then said: “It is Tahuata!”
She added: “we can hear the morning bird songs.” He then said: “It is Mohotani!”.
Oatea was still working and did not stop. “I will collect the rubbish and will put it in the hole.” He then said: “It is Ua Huka!”
Atanua then exclaimed: “Beware! Be careful! The land, the land of Men is lighting up.” He said: “It is Eiao!””
(Source ICA – « Henua Enana » 1997 Jospeh Kaiha).