SHARK GOD OF FIJI: NDAKUWANG-GA

For more than 20 other gods from Fiji see my blog post HERE 

Ndakuwang gaNDAKUWANG-GA – The chief shark god of Fiji. Ndakuwang-Ga established his preeminence by defeating in battle all the other shark deities which guarded particular islands. The only figure to ever beat Ndakuwang-Ga in combat was the octopus god of Kandavu Island. For centuries fishermen from there were considered immune to any and all shark attacks.

Though Ndakuwang-Ga mostly travels in the form of a shark his true form is that of a handsome, muscular Fijian man. His tattoos reveal his godly nature. 

Just as a rainbow on land is attributed to the supreme deity Ndengei a rainbow at sea is credited to Ndakuwang-Ga. Supposedly this shark god and all his subordinate shark deities take the thighs of all their human victims to the reef near Yandua for the shark-priests to retrieve and eat. 

The cycle of myths involving Ndakuwang-Ga features countless instances of him saving his worshippers from sinking ships at sea by letting them ride his back to shore. A reverse of that situation involved a canoe-full of Fijians from Yasawa who paddled to an island rich with coconuts, this deity’s favorite offering. The travelers failed to give any to the shark-god so in revenge he overturned their canoe and devoured all but their leader. That man was condemned to labor for eternity at Nathawa, Yandua,  making and serving coconut offerings to Ndakuwang-Ga.

The shark god is said to have accompanied Fijian war canoes in the invasion of Natewa in 1848. If a dead shark washed ashore, Fijians would bury the creature with honors. If the ritual was performed flawlessly a vesi tree (ironwood tree) would supposedly grow from the shark’s remains.

Fiji has many legends about sharks being caught and then crying like human beings. This is taken as a sign that it may be Ndakuwang-Ga and the shark is released. In Gau a group of people once broke the taboo against eating sharks and everyone who ate the meat soon died. 

Long ago one of the tribes of Vanua Levu killed and ate a saqa fish without knowing it was the messenger of the shark god. In punishment Ndakuwang-Ga created a small, paradisal island to lure all of that tribe onto it to partake of the abundant food and clear streams. After awhile the shark god willed the island to fall apart, causing all the villagers to swim back to shore.

Because the chief apologized to Ndakuwang-Ga and stayed on the collapsing island until all his people were safely ashore, the deity forgave the town, saluted the chief and swam away.

On one occasion the shark god stole the magical fishing hooks of Tokairahe, Lakeba’s patron deity of fishermen. Tokairahe turned himself into a bird and retook his hooks. (In some versions one of his priests turns into a bird to do this.) This triumph over Ndakuwang-Ga encouraged the Lakebans to declare their independence from Vanua Leva back before Fiji was one united nation.

One of Ndakuwang-Ga’s sons ran away from home long ago and hid in a river near Bau. The local villagers recognized the godling and poured offerings of yang-gona from coconut shells into the water. They begged the god to leave but he refused. At length Ndakuwang-Ga sent an army of sharks to the village to force the youngster to return home. To thank the villagers for treating his son well the shark god turned their formerly muddy river crystal-clear. 

A visiting chief from Tonga once insulted Ndakuwang-Ga only to be eaten by the god on his return voyage.   

FOR THE TOP 15 IROQUOIS DEITIES CLICK HERE –  https://glitternight.com/2013/01/28/the-top-fifteen-deities-in-iroquois-mythology/  

FOR SIMILAR ARTICLES AND MORE OF THE TOP LISTS FROM BALLADEER’S BLOG CLICK HERE:   https://glitternight.com/top-lists/

© Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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2 Comments

Filed under Mythology

2 responses to “SHARK GOD OF FIJI: NDAKUWANG-GA

  1. Olivia

    I am always blown away by all the obscure myths and folklore that you write about!

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