Legend tells of a strange child with looks of an eel born to a young couple. Ashamed of him, they hid him in a Hohoni ( pumpkin shell). As he grew, his parents moved him to a nearby lagoon.Years passed and the mother gave birth to twin girls.
One day while playing near the lagoon, the girls were frightened by a strange creature. Not knowing it was their brother they ran to the ocean for safety. He followed his sisters to inform them of who he was. He searched the ocean long and hard and realized they were lost to the sea.
He landed upon the beautiful island of Vava’u, not knowing he made his home in Princess Hina’s bathing pool. As time passed Hina and the eel were in love and was pregnant. The village people sought and killed the eel. Hina sadly buried him near her home. Eventually a tree grew from his grave. The eel’s voice was heard from the tree, Hina would take the leaves for shelter and the fruit for food. Hina and her baby survived because of the coconuts from the coconut tree. When a coconut is peeled, you’ll find the face of the eel on the shell.
The coconut tree is very important to Polynesians, it has been their means of survival for many centuries.