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The Giant of




“There’s an island next to Fedraey called Mangeyang,” Cal says. “If you come close but not quite to the beach, right adjacent to it as you go where the white sand is, and if you look down, there is a big piece of reef that looks like an outline of a huge person. And there is a story behind that."


"That person was a giant who lived on Mangeyang and who is the guardian of Mangeyang. He did both bad things and good things, and they are versions of the stories of how he lived, how he died.

"He was not really a very pleasant giant. According to my version, before it was a very traditional thing for young kids, when they see approaching canoes, to announce it by yelling in unison. They would sing a certain song, to let the people know that they have visitors from other islands.

"So the kids are in the habit of, if they’re playing around the beach, every time they see approaching canoes, they sing a song to announce to the people that they have visitors coming to the island."


Beach at Mangeyang.


Fish nets

Fishing nets hang in a seaside shelter on Mangeyang.


"But on several occasions, when the giant came down upon the summon of the kids, found out that the canoe was not what it was supposed to be. When we came down to check, either it was a false alarm, or the canoe that supposedly was approaching was not the right kind for which they were supposed to summon people for.

"On several locations, that happened. So eventually after so many false alarms he got mad, and he started killing the kids on the island.

"Then finally the people of Mangeyang and the neighboring islands got together and had their meeting. And they decided to eliminate him."


"But they were having a hard time. They couldn’t confront him because he was much larger than all of them. So they devised a plan. When he went to this Men’s House—he was in the Men’s House by himself—they went in when he was sleeping and they tied him down."

"And then they set fire to the Men’s House and they burned him until he was dead. So when he died, then they took him and threw him out, down where he is supposedly at now, and they piled a bunch of rocks on him. Eventually the rocks grew into coral reefs, into an outline form of a human being."


Coral growing on the giant's body.




Approaching Mangeyang.

"And so it grew. And every time you come to the island you’re supposed to throw something in the water to announce your arrival and beg for his pardon to allow you to come to Mangeyang.

"So it’s become a tradition for everybody who approaches the island to pay tribute by offering something, throwing something in the water to ask for a good visit and things like that. Up to my time, when I was still growing up on the islands, we used to do that, when we came to Mangeyang—we threw our acknowledgement to the man."

Many more traditions come from the story of Paeliul'ap.



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