Legend of Maritipa and Teahiaroa
Once upon a time, living on one of the motu of Kaukura, there was a very beautiful woman. To help him face loneliness, the gods granted him to have children. But the woman disdained this gift. One day, she entrusted the land to the ocean, which contained two children's bodies, that of Maritipa and her brother Teahiaroa. The two children, carried away by the current, drifted for an indefinite time.
As adults, Maritipa took the form of a requin, while Teahiaroa transformed into a magnificent stingray. Both had, however, kept a human face. One day, by chance, fishermen discovered a sea cave called Marite. It is through this tunnel 800 meters long, about 30 meters in diameter that Maritipa and Teahiaroa emerged from the ocean. The wide side exit of this sea cave is called Mapiri while the lagoon side entrance is called Vaitomoana. This underwater passage will later become their cemetery.
Indeed, on a stormy night, while Maritipa and Teahiaroa were off the coast, waves of extreme violence rushed into the tunnel, destroying everything in their path. With a thud, the rocks came loose completely obstructing the cave. In the early morning, when Maritipa and Teahiaroa wanted to return to the lagoon, they discovered a wall in the middle of the cave. The passage was closed forever. Maritipa and Teahiaroa made such loud complaints that all life on Kaukura Atoll ceased for a moment.
Today these plaintive echoes are still perceived, accompanied by whistling. This is a message from the two children of Kaukura, which means the weather will change and a strong swell is expected.