Tall Tales

Tall Tales

*Both legends were traditional stories told to the author when growing up. There are different versions of each legend, both historical but not authenticated.

Sawa-i-lau (Yasawas)
Sawa-i-lau caves in the Yasawa group to the West of Fiji is peculiar in both origin and in looks. Its jagged shoreline leads up to a monolithic structure shrouded in rich shrubbery, standing out as the lone limestone island in a chain of volcanic ones.

Beneath is the main attraction; the beautiful caves of limestone walls and jade pools made famous by the Hollywood hit movie ‘Blue Lagoon’ that starred Brooke Shields. Beyond its alluring and mysterious looks also lie legends about avenged princesses and Egyptian heiroglyphs!

Legend tells of a giant hawk that lived in the Sawa-i-lau cave and how it carried off a princess called Naiobasali from the ancient village of Naicobocobo. It was said that her prince, Rokoulu avenged her death by travelling up on a gust of wind high enough to pierce the hawk’s neck, killing it. The winds Rokoulu summoned still blows in Sawa-i-lau, billowing from the cave.

The sacred Sawa-i-lau Caves are also known as the resting place of the 10-headed ancient Fijian god, Ulutini. Before entering the caves, it is common for many locals to ask for his blessings.

Floating Island (Labasa)
On the outskirts of the sleepy northern town of Labasa is the famous floating island of Vanalato in Nubu.

A local legend tells of how Vanalato moves from one edge to the other from its original position in the middle of the swampy lake. It is said that an eel was responsible for its movement after a special priest sang it chants.

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