I really love prawns, so when I want to cuddle myself, they’re one of my favorite food… legendary, so to say…
you can find my recipe here.
The legend of The Red Prawns Of Vatulele
Long ago on the island of Vatulele there lived a very beautiful chief’s daughter called “Yalewa-ni-Cagi-Bula” or Maiden-of-the-Fair-Wind. So beautiful was she that every eligible chief who visited Vatulele sought to take her as his bride. Yalewa-ni-Cagi-Bula however, was hard to please and on every occasion she scornfully refused to accept their approaches.
Not far away on the mainland of Viti Levu lived a very handsome and dashing chief’s son who was heir to the throne of mainland tribes. He had heard of the beautiful daughter of the chief of Vatulele and decided that she was worthy to be his wife. Finally, after much preparation, our bold young chief set off, laden with gifts, to seek the favors of Yalewa-ni-Cagi-Bula. He was well received by the chiefs of Vatulele, and confidently, he produced the special gift which he had personally carried from his mainland.
This gift consisted of the greatest delicacy known to Fiji Islands, a bundle of giant prawns from the coastal streams of Viti Levu, cooked to a tasty turn in coconut milk. Such a delicacy could be expected to melt the heart of any Fijian maiden – but not so on this occasion.
Her face clouded in anger and with flashing eyes she commanded ladies in waiting to seize him and take him to the highest cliff on the island above the “Caves of the Eagles” (known in Fiji as Ganilau) and cast him out into the sea. As he tumbled down the cliff to the sea his gift of bright red prawns fell from his hands into a rocky pool at the base of the cliff, and the leaves in which they were wrapped fell among the rocks around the pool. Our bold young chief survived the fall and returned sadly home to end his days pining for his lost love. Everyday he would go down to the sea and look towards the south where on a clear day, he could just make out on the horizon a dark line which was Vatulele.
Legends tells us that on one occasion he even began to build a bridge of stone to span the the sea between Vatulele and Viti Levu and the remains of this bridge can still be seen jutting out to sea near the village of Votualailai.
The end of the story is as interesting as the beginning for where the red prawns fell into the rocky pool they came to life and to this day the pools under the cliffs on Vatulele are filled with bright scarlet prawns and in the crevices of the rocks grow the leaves in which they were wrapped. To the Fijians of Vatulele these bright scarlet prawns known as “URA-BUTA” or “cooked Prawns” are sacred and may not be harmed in any way. They firmly believe that any who dare defy the TABU will surely be shipwrecked