Viti Levu Feature
Legend of the Beqa Firewalkers
On the island of Beqa, there lived a famous storyteller who often entertained his tribe, the Sawau. It was customary for the people of the village to bring him gifts in exchange for his eloquent tales. Once, upon being asked what he would like, he requested that each member of the audience bring him the first thing they found while hunting the next day.
One of the Beqa warriors went fishing for eels. The first thing he caught felt like an eel but when pulled from the mud, revealed itself to be a spirit god. The warrior set off to present his find to the storyteller but the spirit god pleaded for his freedom, offering all kinds of gifts in exchange. He was ignored until he offered power over fire, which piqued the warrior's interest.
In order to prove the spirit god's promise, a pit was dug and lined with stones. A huge fire burned in the pit until the stones became white with heat. The spirit god leapt upon the stones and told the warrior to follow. He hesitated but finally did and, to his surprise, felt no pain from the heat. He was then told that he could be buried alive for four days in a cannibal oven without being hurt. The warrior neglected to test this but, ever since then, members of the Sawau tribes are able to walk on white-hot stones.
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