Monday, April 2, 2018


Here's a custom some people practiced in the old days.

This was told to me by older people from Malesso'.

When a child loses a tooth, he or she is told to throw the tooth on the thatched roof, or go up there and hide the tooth in between the leaves.

The rat would come along and find the tooth, and bring back to the child a gold one!

The child was taught to call to the rat in a sing-song way, saying

Chule' este i nifen-ho måfte',
ya un nå'e yo' nifen-ho oro!

Take this broken tooth of mine,
and give me a gold tooth!

Even when roofs switched to tin or tile, some children still threw the tooth on the roof.

~ Jennifer Peralta, informant go-between

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