• Aquarius

The Pirate King

Updated: Aug 15, 2021

"It is, it is a glorious thing to be a pirate king!" ~

"I Am A Pirate King" - The Pirate Movie (1982)


Part XI | The Sacred Pearl Cove | Tahiti

"Properly warned ye be, says I"

- The Pirate King


The Black Tahitian pearl is produced by the Black Lipped oyster (Pinctada Margaritafera) which is found in the waters of French Polynesia. In the past, natural Black Tahitian pearls were extremely rare since only one out of about 10,000 oysters contains a pearl. In order to survive, the Black Lipped Pearl Oyster has to be in a stress-free environment, and most importantly in a calm and healthy lagoon which is favorable to its development. Now, Black-Lipped pearls are farmed in French Polynesia, the Cook Islands, the Micronesian Islands, and even to some extent, Japan, Thailand, and the Philippines, but only those grown in French Polynesia may be called Tahitian pearls.


Tahitian pearls were once the rarest, most valuable cultured pearls in the word. Legend has it that the Tahitian Black Pearl, Queen of the Polynesian sea jewels, is a gift to the Polynesians from Oro, the Polynesian god of war and fertility. The name "Oro" originates from Yoruba in West Africa. Oro enjoys fighting and mischief. However, in peacetime he becomes a god of peace and is worshiped as Oro-i-te-tea-moe ("Oro of the spear laid down"). Offerings to Oro are often made of Red Feathers.

French Polynesia

"Rum Runners of the Ocean Blue" - Bob Kehl

Calypso took the rum runners' dinghy for herself and sailed at dawn. She left Palm Beach Island with Kairo a Scarlet Macaw, a few heavy crates of Golden Dragon Spiced rum, her own navigator, Kitoko and not much else. By mid-afternoon their dinghy had the sandy shoreline of Tahiti in sight. Kitoko spotted a slightly smaller dinghy like theirs already beached and a few more larger pirate ships off in the distance. It wasn't surprising, Kitoko knew that Captain Kalil and the others were all looking for the same thing, to make their fortune in Spanish Gold.

The small Rum Runner dinghy Kitoko had spotted with her telescope sat idly in the waves lapping at the shoreline and Calypso's navigator watched with keen interest as dinghy's two occupants climbed out, grabbed their belongings and disappeared across the white sand beach as they headed toward palm trees and shade.

Captain Kalil's [1] pirate ship, The Kraken was anchored off-shore farther down the beach. Kitoko pointed her telescope in the direction of The Kraken and almost lost her balance in her perch trying to focus. As their dinghy approached the shoreline, Kitoko jumped down from the perch and Calypso tossed a small anchor overboard into the sparkling, azure Tahitian waters.

At that moment Calypso spotted something floating in the waves lapping gently against the shore. A painted face appeared to be bobbing up and down in the turquoise waters, a face that might have been crying, but was instead only covered with salty tears.

The face was painted in shades of pink and cerulean blue and when Calypso looked closer she heard music and singing floating in on the afternoon breeze. A voice sang from the face of the mandolin -

"Reuben, Reuben tell me true, for I have no one but you. If you could see in my heart, you would know it's true." [2]

The face had a long handle attached. Calypso grabbed hold of the handle and pulled the brightly colored Painted Mandolin out of the warm Tahitian waters and carried it to safety on the sandy shores of an unnamed beach in French Polynesia.


Notes:

[1] Kalil means "friend" in Arabic

[2] Reuben and Cerise - words by Robert Hunter; Music by Jerry Garcia [http://artsites.ucsc.edu/gdead/agdl/reub.html]

[3] Beyond the Reef (1981)

[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8saISz5fRK0]

[4] Oro Polynesian Myth

[https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/oro]

[https://tahitinuitravel.com/destination/tahitian-black-pearl/]

[5] Types of Pearls

[https://www.jthomasjewelers.com/pages/types-of-pearls]

[6] Jewelry

[https://www.thepearlsource.com/]

[https://www.pearlparadise.com/pages/tahitian-information]

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