A week ago, I heard on the coconut wireless that two men here in Nacamaki village had noticed a small shark in shallow water off the coast. They quickly took shovels from their houses and moved out for the kill. Apparently, they were successful.
But this story was told with some apprehension. The shark god Dakuwaqa is the ancestor spirit and totem of many ladies married here from Taveuni Island. They feel passionate identification with their totem and were very upset at the manifest disregard. A number of people spoke of having frightening dreams of a Dakuwaqa, very angry that one of his species was disrespected.
The topic was raised in the village meeting today. The incident was recounted and discussed. Much frustration was expressed. Finally, the tribal chief gave a strict warning that this kind of behavior was wicked and must not happen again. His ruling was greeted with solemn acceptance.
Columban Fr. Frank Hoare lives and works in Fiji.