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Home  |  Animals   |  Oceanian Animals   |  Melanesian Animals   |  Fijian Animals   |  Ngani Vatu : The Man Eating Bird

Ngani Vatu : The Man Eating Bird

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At a glance

Description
Origin Melanesian Mythology
Classification Animals
Family Members N/A
Region Fiji Islands
Associated With Appetite, Man Eating

Ngani Vatu

Introduction

In Fijian mythology, the ngani-vatu is described as a sizable avian creature, known for its immense size and carnivorous tendencies. This formidable bird finds its place alongside other legendary beings such as the Poua-Kai from Maori traditions, the Simurg of Persian mythology, and the Roc featured in Arabian Nights tales.

Physical Traits

Depicted as an enormous bird of prey, this creature boasts wings of such magnitude that they could obscure the sunlight. It is identified as a sizable avian entity, featuring a body measuring 4.50 meters from beak to tail feathers and a wingspan exceeding 3 meters. Males exhibit a light green back, while females sport a light brown hue. The body is adorned with red feathers, complemented by light yellow-colored legs and beak. Notably, each of its four wings bears clawed fingers.

Mythology

While fishing in their boat, Okova and Tutu-wathiwathi, a married couple, encountered the ngani-vatu, which descended from the sky and seized Tutu-wathiwathi. Unable to keep up with the bird, Okova turned to his partner’s brother, Rokoua, for assistance. They traced the creature’s lair on Sawa-i-Lau, but unfortunately, it was too late. All that remained of Tutu-wathiwathi was her finger, a poignant memento that Okova kept beside a pile of bones from the ngani-vatu’s previous meal. Determined, Okova made a blood oath, and the two patiently awaited their moment.

The ngani-vatu returned, holding ten porpoises in its talons and five turtles in its beak. Okova and Rokoua thrust their spears into its massive form, but the weapons seemed to vanish within as the creature continued devouring its prey. When the ngani-vatu collapsed, triggering an avalanche, the two salvaged one of its smaller feathers to use as a makeshift sail. They disposed of the body in the water, but as they did, a colossal wave surged, impacting the nearby islands. Following this event, they returned home, and Okova, revered as a saint, ascended to a position above the king’s throne.

Other names

The Ngani Vatu is also known as Ngutu-lei.

Powers and Abilities

By beating its wings, the ngani-vatu has the power to generate storm clouds, and should it plunge into the ocean, its colossal body has the potential to instigate a tsunami. It seizes both humans and animals, bringing them to its lair where they meet their fate as prey for the voracious creature.

Modern Day Influence

The colossal man-eating bird is a recurring element in numerous video games and contemporary popular literature.

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Disclaimer: While it is the intention of Mythlok and its editors to keep all the information about various characters as mythologically accurate as possible, this site should not be considered mythical, legendary or folkloric doctrine in any way. We welcome you using this website for any research, journal or study but citing this website for any academic work would be at your own personal risk.
Disclaimer: While it is the intention of Mythlok and its editors to keep all the information about various characters as mythologically accurate as possible, this site should not be considered mythical, legendary or folkloric doctrine in any way. We welcome you using this website for any research, journal or study but citing this website for any academic work would be at your own personal risk.
Disclaimer: While it is the intention of Mythlok and its editors to keep all the information about various characters as mythologically accurate as possible, this site should not be considered mythical, legendary or folkloric doctrine in any way. We welcome you using this website for any research, journal or study but citing this website for any academic work would be at your own personal risk.