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What are some Chuukese legends featuring women?  Chuuk is a group of islands among...

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guampalaya | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 11, 2012 at 10:12 AM via web

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What are some Chuukese legends featuring women?

 

Chuuk is a group of islands among many islands of the Federated States of Micronesia. I am doing a presentation on its culture, especially from a female standpoint. Does anyone know of any Chuukese legends that have women as the lead characters?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 12, 2012 at 6:52 PM (Answer #1)

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The only source I know of for Chuukese legends and mythology (other than people from Chuuk) is the book Never and Always: Micronesian Legends, Fables, and Folklore that was written by students from the Community College of Micronesia and edited by Gene Ashby who was an instructor there.  This is a book from the early 1980s.

In that book, there are at least two legends from Chuuk (one from the outer islands and one from inside Chuuk Lagoon) that feature women.  From the outer island of Nomwin is one about a female ghost who is said to have had a hand in creating the island as it is now.  Food that she threw into the water became islets along the reef of the atoll that are good for growing crops.  Water that she brought to the island in her mouth became ground water that can be obtained by digging wells.  From Tol, there is a story about how a woman caused sharks around that island to be dangerous.  The story revolves around a woman who gave birth to two sharks.  The woman was eventually mistreated and the sharks took revenge for her and thus gained a taste for human flesh.

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