by Mineke Schipper, Humanity’s End as a New Beginning: World Disasters in Myths

15. Punishment and rescue

(Fiji, Melanesia)

The two grandsons of the supreme god Ndengei killed his favorite bird Turukawa. And instead of apologizing for the offence, they abused the god and called him names. Assisted by their friends they fortified their town and defied the god to do whatever he wanted. Ndengei was very angry.  He took three months to collect his forces, but he proved unable to subdue the rebelling youngsters. So he disbanded his army, and decided to opt for a more efficient revenge.

At his command, dark clouds gathered obediently from all over the sky and burst into massive rains incessantly pouring on to the earth. Soon the flood submerged towns, hills and mountains. The rebels felt secure in the height of their dwelling place, and initially looked at the terrible weather without concern. But the water rose so high that immense surges began to invade their fortress, and in distress they invoked the gods.

Some say that the gods instructed them to build a raft floating on gourds; others tell that two canoes were sent to rescue them; still others believe that they knew how to build a canoe, and thus secured their own safety. Anyway, all agreed that even the highest places were covered, so that the last ones of the human race were saved in some kind of vessel. No more than eight people survived the flood. The subsiding waters left their vessel in Mbengga (Beqa). That is why the Mbenggans claim to be the first in rank among all Fijians.