THE history of Wainigadru Village in Cakaudrove is quite similar to the island of Burotukula — filled with beautiful women.
Known as Nukusewale which sits out at sea facing the village front, villagers say women from this beautiful island would visit Wainigadru to make use of the fresh water pool that sits behind the village.
And when village elders visit the pool for a swim, they would hear voices of these women disappear into the bushes saying they had to leave because some villagers had arrived.
Not any of these women would be seen except that villagers would hear their voices playing games and fading away in the bushes.
Vivid memories of the village history remain with elders of Wainigadru, some remember hearing the laughter and voices of women at the tobu and out at sea in the village front. The area is known as Nukusewale which consisted of a village filled with just beautiful women of Cakaudrove.
Talimei Tuiloma is one who remembers hearing women chat and laugh out at sea and at the tobu.
While one may argue these are just myths, the names being called out by women who were at the pool and play games at that time, exist today borne by children of Wainigadru.
This is one proof that such beautiful women did once live in the village of Wainigadru.
Names such as Dreubiaurewa, Dreunene, Dreutamue and many others continue to be used for new-born babies in the village.
Mrs Tuiloma still remembers during her childhood days when voices of women would be heard out at sea while making their way to the village.
"Eimami dau duri tu e gaunisala levu ena so na ya'avi me qai dau rorogo mai na nodra veivosaki na marama. E so na gauna dau toso vole'a sara ma i vanua, ia oti ga mai yali yani. (We would be standing at the main road in the evenings and would hear the voices of the women out at sea talking and laughing. At times it would move closer to the road but then it fades away)," Mrs Tuiloma said.
"O ira na marama qo mera dau talanoa ta'a tu a lai qoli se mera la'o lai sasalu. (These women would talk about going fishing)."
But the voices of women heard approaching the village from sea would fade away as they reached the roadside.
Mrs Tuiloma remembers the elders advising the younger ones not to eat any food given by the women in Nukusewale.
"Era dau aya a 'eimami qase no ira na marama era dau tu sara tu mai waitui loa na ena nodrai ti'oti'o ko Nukusewale. (Our elders always said those women live in Nukusewale which is in the deep waters of the sea).
"Era 'aya a qase 'eva'a na raica o ira na marama e so na turaga era lai siwa yani i waitui, era na qai va'amoceri ira baleta mera tadra o ira a turaga lai siwa yani. (Our elders used to say that when these women from Nukusewale sees men coming out fishing, they will try and put them off to sleep).
"O ira na turaga qo, mera na qai tadrai Nukusewale ena qai va'araita'i mai vei ira dua a veleti 'a'ana e tawa tu mai 'ina. (Once they sleep, they will have a dream and will see the women from Nukuseale offering them a plate of food).
"Na gauna era na 'ania 'ina, era sana lutu yani ki Nukusewale sa qai dau tu'uni ti'o vei ira mera ua ni dau ania e dua na a e solli mai Nukusewale (When they eat this food, the men will fall into Nukusewale and so our elders used to tell them not to eat anything given by those women)," Mrs Tuiloma said.
While these stories remain with the villagers, it has not disheartened them from going out fishing or making good use of the fresh water pool, commonly known as tobu.
Village headman Bonesafio Driti said the villagers especially the children pack the village tobu everyday.
"Even visitors who come in for the weekend or the holidays can spend the whole day here in the tobu.
"The boys have tied big ropes across so the children can enjoy their swim by hanging on it and jumping down into the pool."
The voices of women once heard by the village elders are no more but they are only remembered by the names that continue to be given to new-born babies of Wainigadru.