Old Tobi Fishing Song (1)

Patricio Mohorihotimoh
Translated by Felix Andrew
From The Fishing Lore of Tobi
Peter W. Black©1968

Etai sahah tepamu You donít enjoy your life
Meheouhemi nohar The ocean is shining and calm
Etai fisiri hiheyar
You were never the ďhiyaheĒ bird (2)
Ngatai manariuor
Nor any sea bird
Taifiti baotaparar There is no smell on your fingers, the smell of the sea birds
Taimangau reni soubue You donít get food from seriyout (3)
Etai saso tsanih You donít enjoy the taste of fish

(1) This is a song that men from one end of the island would sing to insult those from the other.† It is not really so much about the other men being unenthusiastic fishermen as, in a disguised way, a claim that they are unsuccessful lovers.

(2) We are waiting to learn the identity of this bird.

(3) Seriyout is the name of an area of rough water where two currents come together.