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Amam

by Daniel A. Kelin, II
A big snake living in the waters between Mili atoll in the Marshall Islands and Kiribati. The snake is as big as an island house, long and black. The end of the snake faces Mili and the tail faces Kiribati. It is said if you get lost when sailing, you enter the snake. You get confused, without being able to see stars or feel the waves. Spending one or two days inside, you get scared, try to run away and turn yourself around from south to north. Then you will spend another day or two inside. Finally you die from hunger and thirst. It is said that if you do end up inside, look for the Kaböj bird named Lokto. When the bird sees your canoe, it will fly away. Follow it because it will show you where you entered the snake. If an experienced island navigator enters it, they chant: "Jej tar lok iar lok ke amam en eurok köj jejlä kajen toor en jikin melok in waan jeblak." Roughly translated - "We go inside the snake and he is trying to catch us but we know where to go in and out."

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