…..As desarr lay on the bow platform dying, a little reef bird called “toleh” (sandpiper) flew down and sat down near to him. Toleh then flew back and forth to the top of the sand cay several times before desarr noticed the toleh was landing on top of bobbing “zorr” (pumice stone) like it was on water. Desarr struggled up and made his way to the top of the coral cay and when he got there he pushed the pumice stones apart and found fresh water. He drank the water to give him strength; he then went back to the canoes and got the others to the pool of water so they could regain their strength as well. After they did, desarr told them how the toleh had led him to the water and they all acknowledged the bird as the spirit of their lost tribesman Damoi who they thought had come back to save them from certain death. (This is why Erub people call the sandpiper “toleh” to this day; it means, “there is a person inside this bird”. And so the Meuram hunters found a huge and unusual “izerr” (bailer shell) on kerged which they filled with the remaining water and then set off towards home the next day…..
This is part of a larger story depicted in Daniel O’Shane’s large-scale print Meuram and Zogo Ni Pat. For full story visit: