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In Fijian mythologyDakuwaqa is a shark-god.[1] He was greatly respected by fishermen[2] because he protect

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ed them from any danger at sea[3] and sometimes protected them from evil denizens of the sea.[4]

He was once going inland to conquer Kadavu Island[5] through the river when another god[6] challenged him in the form of an octopus.[7] After a great battle, the octopus won (mainly due to his 8 arms which enabled him to hold off the massive attack of Dakuwaqa) forcing Dakuwaqa to promise to never attack Kadavu again. That is how Dakuwaqa became the god and protector of Kadavu. Dakuwaqa can also change shape into anything, but his real form is that of a muscular Fijian man with the upper torso of a shark.[8]

In the book Pacific Irishman,[9] the Anglican priest William Floyd records in Chapter 1, Creation:

"When I came to Fiji the famed fish-god, the Dakuwaqa, was very much a reality. The Government ship, the Lady Escott, reached Levuka with signs of an encounter with the great fish, while the late Captain Robbie, a well known, tall, and very erect Scot, even to his nineties, told of the sleepy afternoon as his cutter was sailing from his tea estate at Wainunu, under a very light wind, with most of the crew dozing."

Giant Fish of the South Pacific Ocean.

Etymology: Fijian (Aust ronesian) word.

Variant name: Dakuwaqua.

Physical description: Shark wit h light spot s. 
Lengt h, 35 feet . Turt le-shaped head. Short 
neck, 2 feet in diamet er. Enormous dorsal fin. 
Fluked t ail like a whale’s.

Behavior: Said to attack canoes when hungry.

Distribution: Koro Sea, off Vanua Levu, Fiji 
Islands.

Significant sighting: Rev. A. J. Small saw t he 
animal in 1912 when he was on board an 8-t on 
cut t er.

Possible explanation: The Whale shark (Rhincodon 
typus) is known in t hese wat ers and fit s t he 
general physical description.

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