The Tahitian Legend of the Black Pearl

Oro, god of the heavens often watched his children below. He would often visit the earth by riding a brilliant rainbow down to the island people. As one of the most powerful and respected gods, he reigned over the heavens with graciousness and fairness. He rewarded the Tahitians with nurturing sunshine and lifegiving rain.

One day as he visited the earth he became smitten with a beautiful woman named Uaro. Unknown to Oro, Uaro (spirit of the sandy beaches) was a goddess who was married to the god Okano (spirit of the coral).

Unable to hide his feelings for Uaro, he began to pursue her and to show his love, gave her a giant black pearl the size of her palm. Unmatched in beauty and size, the pearl reflected the beauty and brilliant vivid colors of the rainbow. Uaro accepted the gift and treasured it above all her possessions.

As time went by, Uaro had a child — Teufi. Uaro loved her child so much she gave her prized black pearl to Teufi, the one that had been given to her by Oro. As time went by, Teufi grew to become just as beautiful as her mother and was pursued by many suitors. Oro watched over her and she promised to only marry a man who would bring her a pearl as large and as beautiful as the one that was given to her from her mother.

Oro wanted her to be happy. It was a fatherly issue for him and he wanted to keep her protected. He knew that no one would be able to find a pearl as large as the one that she already had. It was an impossible task for any mere man.

From far and wide the suiters came. Among them, twin brothers who proved to be the most dedicated and skillful. One of the brothers was so enamoured with Teufi that he promised without fail to find that rare oyster that would have a pearl as large as the other pearl given to her by her mother. Teufi also loved the twin brother and she made every effort to show her beauty and love to the brother.

Unknowingly, the brother had challenged the god Oro by saying that he could find a pearl just as large as Oro's gift. Oro made the brother's journey long and difficult. But the brother was strong. He trained long and hard and built up his strength needed to search the seas. The pearl diving was difficult and the brother had been diving many weeks. The brother becaume discouraged but kept looking... searching far and wide.

Digging deep into the ocean depths, the brother finally, found a matching pearl. Exhausted and depleted of strength, he presented the pearl to Teufi. With great joy she accepted the pearl.

The joy was short lived as the brother, suddenly and tragically died. Teufi was heartbroken and her mourning lasted many days. Many around her also mourned, but not as much as the other twin brother. He and his brother had a bond unlike any other.

The only way he could see to honor the memory of his brother was to take his place and ask for Teufi's hand in marriage. Needless to say, Oro was not happy at first about this news but later realized the great sorrow that it would cause for Teufi if she were not able to wed the twin brother. He yielded and eventually gave has blessing.

Friends and family gathered to celebrate the wedding. They brought food and gifts and it was one of the largest celebrations ever in Tahiti. Yet the festivites would never match the magnificence of the black pearl.

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