The Turtle and the Shark
January 24, 2012 4:52 AM   Subscribe

The Turtle and the Shark is one of Samoa's most cherished stories, and it has been animated beautifully by Ryan Woodward in the style of siapo, or Samoan tapa barkcloth.

If you want to travel to Vaitogi to summon the turtle and the shark yourself, you might want to brush up on the lyrics to the song, which the New York Times omitted in a 1922 article about Polynesia. Oh, and while you're there, mind your step: the shore is beautiful but the waves and cliffs get a bit treacherous (check the video).
posted by barnacles (7 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
That was beautiful. Thank you for sharing.
posted by smirkette at 5:58 AM on January 24, 2012

Ryan Woodward did that amazing Thought of You that was all the rage a while back too. His vimeo channel and blog are worth keeping an eye on if you like animation.
posted by DigDoug at 5:59 AM on January 24, 2012

posted by spitbull at 6:48 AM on January 24, 2012

That's cool. Several years ago the wife and I where in New Zealand. One of the things we purchased before coming home was a barkcloth painting. It still hangs (well preserved and mounted) in the dining room. Got a big turtle, and had to go look at it right now, but just a few big fish, pretty sure they are not sharks.
posted by edgeways at 6:54 AM on January 24, 2012

er.. add "barkcloth painting from a lady from Tonga, who was set up in the top floor of an odd warehouse-like mall in Wellington" to the above comment.
posted by edgeways at 6:57 AM on January 24, 2012

I've been doing some research on Samoa for a school project, and had read one of the variations of this story during my browsing. One of the alternate versions has a woman and her granddaughter seeking hospitality and food from various villages, and when no one assists them, they jump. I kind of liked that better than starcrossed lovers, but that doesn't make this animation any less beautiful. It was fun to recognize the fale and some of the different siapo pattern inspirations.
posted by redsparkler at 11:30 AM on January 24, 2012

Gorgeous, thanks for posting!
posted by brilliantine at 1:43 PM on January 24, 2012

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