Live Human Bait for the Sharks

The neighboring Island of ‘Eue’iki has an old and still practiced tradition of shark calling. It all started with the first people that inhabited the Island legend tells of them coming to the Island and on that first journey one of the canoes tipping over and everyone inside being eaten by sharks. Once they arrived on the Island one of the elders made a pact with Hina ( a Tongan Goddess ) so as to protect his people from shark attacks. Which has worked to this day, I have a friend from there who loves to swim with sharks. Funny story, but when he went to Sydney Australia for a visit with family, he was arrested for swimming with a great white in the harbor, but that’s another story in it’s self. Where was I oh yeah OK so he made a packed with Hina, um, shark calling basically what they do is they sit around in the early morning and drink Kava (the traditional drink in Tonga, sort of like what coke is in the U.S.) In the canoe as the paddle out to their fishing spot. The first cup of Kava goes to the sharks of course. Once at the spot they bang coconut shells together and splash with their hands, when the sharks start to arrive they start chanting malie ( excellent or well done dude sort of thing ) and then Vili pea hoko ( more coming)  and (Teau) which means 100 cause that’s how many sharks they want to attract.They then wave meat over the water and as the shark come to the surface to eat the meat, they tie a rope arund it and drag it on board tie it up and whack the hell out of it. there you have it shark calling.

Now where the live human bait comes into it is there is a lot of things the crew is not allowed to do the day before and the day of the shark calling as it is Tapu ( not to be done sort of thing.) So if  the sharks don’t come near the boat it is assumed that someone has broken Tapu, it is  then up to the Sinilau (the captain) Sinilau sort of means Shark lover to decide who broke Tapu and then makes said person jump in to the water and attract the sharks (live human bait.) He then lures the sharks back to the boat and away they go again. I must at this stage point out that I have never been on one of these shark calling excursion, and I never will cause I just know who they would blame for braking  Tapu, but my friend does and the information I relate to you comes from him.

Ps: he is sane, just foolhardy.

So what do you think of that. let me know.



  1. totally too scary

  2. I have some er ‘friends’ that I would like to volunteer for shark bait 🙂

  3. Do you eat them sharks, or just whack them for fun?

  4. Hiya, Bridget saw your note on her diary, glad you are enjoying it 🙂

    Fascinating legend! Look forward to reading more from you.

    I see my blog theme inspired you ha! 😉

  5. nursy poo: Scary alright.

    Anita: lol, what are their names I’ll see what I can do for you.

    Perakath : Of course they eat them there is no Mac donalds in the whole of Tonga.

    Bridget Jones : This is Know legend, this is all fact right down tom the pact with Hina.

  6. Wow. You think the sharks would have learnt to stay away from Kava infested waters! Up North from me the locals used to cross crocodile infested rivers swimming holding onto a log. They would take a few camp dogs along for the ride and throw the odd dog out to the crocs so they could get across safely.

  7. Ohlala! Well then I’m duly impressed Island Boy!

    More of the same please 🙂

  8. Where I come from, they make shark curry too. Yummy but I have no clue how they catch hold of them.

    So much folklore, so much fun!

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