Rylan Ritawa

My dad told me a story about the Giant Clam.  My dad told me this story, so that I can share traditional fishing with my children and the generations in the future.


My dad grew up in Pukapuka. There was no transport and he had to walk. The name of the school he went to was Nuia School. His school uniform was blue shorts and white T-shirt.

He only ate fish, taro, uto, nu, banana and puraka. My dad told me a story about the Giant Clam.

The fishermen would go to the mouth of the river to fish, but the clam would eat the fish and the fishermen.

Then, a warrior named Toma crafted a knife made from a shark’s tooth. It took him a whole night to make the knife. When he had finished the knife, he set off to the mouth of the river. It took him half a day to get to there, because he lived on the other side of the island.

The Giant Clam saw Toma and sucked the water, as well as the warrior, who was knocked out cold when the clam swallowed him up.

When Toma woke, he saw the inside of the clam. There were vakas, bones, and dead fish. He started to kill the clam by using the knife he had made, cutting the meat off from the inside.

When the clam died it opened up, then the warrior swam back up and gave the meat of the clam to the people, and the whole island lived happily ever after.


The reason I chose this stingray is because it represents my island of Pukapuka and for the people of Pukapuka and my language. These markings will show you:

***these represent the night sky of the vaka boats of my island. ||||this represents my family numbers. {}{}this represents my half brother and sister. ~~~~~~~~~~this represents when I was born till now. /////this represents me, my aunties, uncles and cousins. ##this represents the coral passage around my island of Pukapuka. ~^~this represents the running races around my island.