Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tagai - A warrior from the Torres Strait

One day Tagai and his crew of Zugubals (beings who took on human form when they visited Earth) were fishing from their outrigger canoe. They caught no fish, and so Tagai, the leader and the best fisherman of all, left the canoe and walked onto the nearby reef to look for fish there. He was gone for a long time.
While waiting for him the crew grew hotter and hotter — they dived into the sea but even that didn't cool them off. Only by drinking water would they be cooled, but the only water in the canoe belonged to Tagai, who had carefully stored it in coconut shells which he had hung over the side.
How the men longed for water!
As they grew hotter and thirstier they decided they could wait no longer. They hauled the coconut shells up into the canoe and drank the deliciously cold water.
When Tagai returned he was furious that all of the drinking water for their voyage had gone. In his fury he killed all twelve of his crew.
Because they were Zugubals, he returned them to the sky and placed them in two groups, Usal (the Pleiades) and Utimal (Orion). He told his crew to stay in the northern sky and to keep away from him.
Now when the crew wish to appear in the eastern sky, they must signal their coming by causing thunder and lightning, and Tagai, hearing this, dips below the western horizon.
The people of the Torres Strait look up to Tagai and from his position in the night sky know when the seasonal rains will come and when they should plant crops. When Tagai's left hand (the Southern Cross) dives towards the sea the first rain of the season, Kuki, will begin.

Source: Questacon.

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