Hạf'liua

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Hạf'liua, (Hofliua) also often referred to as "Split Island" is an islet which falls under the governing jurisdiction of the Fijian dependency of Rotuma.

Geography[edit]

Hạf'liua is located at 12°29′49″S 176°56′07″E / 12.49694°S 176.93528°E / -12.49694; 176.93528Coordinates: 12°29′49″S 176°56′07″E / 12.49694°S 176.93528°E / -12.49694; 176.93528. It is the westernmost island of Rotuma Group, and about 0.1 km² in area. It is a small, bare, rocky and cliffy islet, 58 meters high, located 5.6 kilometers southwest of Uea. It is the farthest southwest of the chain of islets, and has a remarkable, perpendicular cleft across it, which the sea passes through, a gully with vertical walls a few metres apart, although large enough for most small boats to pass through. Thus its alternate name Split Island. Caught between the two walls is a large boulder, lodged there for all recorded history. The island is an important nesting site for sea birds.

Hạf'liua also features some graves on its top surface. While the process must have been extremely difficult for the relatives attempting to move the dead up such a steep cliff for burial, the very process was undertaken for the protection of the bodies, and the effort involved was considered indicative of the love or esteem held for the deceased.

Mythology[edit]

Legend has it that a hermit crab challenged a mighty swordfish to a race from Tonga to Rotuma, the swordfish thinking he could not lose accepted this challenge. The hermit crab was able to deceive the swordfish by spacing out his hermit crab friends all the way to Rotuma. The swordfish was tricked into believing he had lost the race, they raced a second time and again the hermit crab seemed to have reached Rotuma first, angered by his losses the swordfish demanded one last race. The angry swordfish put all of his might into the race and swam faster than he had swum before, he swam so fast that by the time he reached Rotuma he was unable to slow down and crashed right into the island of Haf'luia creating the split down its center.

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