E is for Eel vs. Sina

We are pleased to participate in the A to Z Blog Challenge (http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/). The Story Crossroads theme for this year is Finding Resilience & Strength through Traditional Tales.

Eel –

From Samoan culture (Oceania)

The King of Fiji was able to transform into an eel. Why is that? In the Pacific Islands, eels were common. It would be not so strange to be found in a communal bath. If you want to get really serious, then you can explore this “Oceanic migration behaviour of Pacific eels from Samoa.”

Coconut is such an honored food. But…not native to the Pacific Islands. Fascinating! This story can be a way to explain the appearance of coconuts. And all parts of the coconut is useful from its bark, leaves, and nut.

50-word-or-less summary:

King of Fiji transformed into eel. Entered pool where Sina bathed. Saw eel. Took home as pet. Time passed. King weakened. Changed to human. Explained that he heard of Sina’s beauty and worried that his older age would keep her away. Gift. Cut his head, bury it, become coconut.

Finding the Story: 

Blog post “South Sea Island Folktales: Sina and the Eel” (Samoan & Samoan/American versions) – here

“The Legend of Sina” online – here

National Park of American Samoa – “Sina and her Eel (tuna)” – here

Details about coconuts from Library of Congress – here

Finding Resilience & Strength:

I find it fascinating that the King of Fiji, instead of calling upon Sina in his human form, decided to use magic and become an eel. He was that worried that their age difference would…well…make a difference. While his confidence wavered, he did use this continuous magic. He and Sina did make a connection. Then, he offered the glorious gift of the coconut. Sina had the strength to accept this gift and even gave a kiss every time milk was drunk from the coconut. This sustenance gave physical strength while linking to the emotional strength. Both have the traits of resilience and strength. Death (or is it death) does not change this fact. They even strengthened each other.

Here’s an article from the National Library of Medicine called “Building Emotional Resilience to Promote Health” to explore mental health and strategies.

Please share thoughts in the comments. While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has year-round offerings. See quick list of programs here.

As for our past A to Z Challenges…

While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has been resilient and strong during these past years and looks forward to the next hybrid summit & festival on May 8-11, 2023. We would be honored for you to join us. Explore the schedule and register here: http://www.storycrossroads.org/Festival

Thanks to funding from National Endowment for the Arts; National Endowment for the Humanities; Western States Arts Federation; Utah Division of Arts and Museums/Utah Legislature; Utah Humanities; City of Murray; Zoo, Arts & Parks (ZAP) of Salt Lake County; Salt Lake City Arts Council; Ashton Family Foundation; and people like you.

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Story Crossroads fosters creative and compassionate communities through the art of storytelling. 501(c)(3)

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