The women of Namuana village still preserve a very strange ritual, that of calling turtles from the sea. If you visit the Namuana village to see the turtle calling; here, you have a splendid view and will find assembled all the maidens of the village of Namuana, singing a strange chant. As they chant, if you look very carefully down into the water of the bay, you will see giant turtles rise one by one to lie on the surface, listening to the music.
Another interesting sideline to this performance is that if any member of the nearby villlage of Nabukalevu is present,then the turtles will not rise to the surface of the bay, and the tutle calling will have to be abandoned. In Fiji, the turtle calling is based on an ancient legend.
Many years ago, in the beautiful village of Namuana,on the island of Kadavu, lived a very lovely princess called Tinaicoboga who was the wife of the chief of Namuana village. Tinaicoboga had a charming daughter called Raudalice, and the two women often went fishing on the reefs around their home.
Once , Tinicoboga and Raudalice went further afield than usual.They waded out onto the submerged reefs which stretch out from the rocky headline to the east of the bay on which Namuana village is situated.
They became so engrossed with their fishing that they didn't notice the stealthy approach of a great war canoe, filled with fishermen, from Nabukalevu. Suddenly,the fishermen leapt from their canoe and seized the twi women,bound their hands and feet with vine, tossed them into the bottom of the canoe,and set off in great haste for home. Although the women pleaded for their lives,the cruel warriors from Nabukalevu didn't listen to their entreaties.
The gods of the sea, however, were kind, and soon, a great storm arose and the canoe was tossed about by huge waves which almost swamped it. As the canoe foundered in the sea , the fishermen were astounded to notice that the two women, lying in the water in the hold of the canoe, had suddenly changed into tutles, and to save their own lives,the men seized them into the sea. As they slipped over the side of the canoe,the weather changed and there were no more waves.
The Nabukalevu fishermen continued their journey back to their home village,and the two women from Namuana who had been changed to turtles lived on in the water of the bay. It is their descendants today who rise from the water when the maidens of their own village sing songs to them from the cliffs.
You may doubt the truth of the legend,but you cannot doubt the fact that the chanting of this strange song does,in fact, lure the giant turtles to the surface of the blue waters of the bay,near Namuana village, on tbe island of Kadavu.