The octopus runs away
The upset octopus came out of its den and decided to leave Fa’ato’ai and to take refuge on Mount Rotui. In anger, it spread its ink on the mountain down to Vaihere Beach where the turtle-men had landed.
Then the octopus called all the nohu (= stonefish) and asked them to settle and guard the bay. Since then, the name ’Opunohu’ (Opu= belly; nohu: stonefish) still remained.
The octopus’ head became a rock and its tentacles spread over the eight mountain ranges of Moorea. But before he transformed, he said to Taaroa: « I will come back one day. Signs will precede my return, that is, the return of peace and unity. »
Extracted from Moorea d’autrefois. Ed. Le Motu 2006, by Hinano Murphy, Association Te Ati Matahiapo Nui Aimeho Nei
Origins of the name of Moorea: Aimeho or Eimeo The old name of Mo’orea, “Aimeho” (or Eimeo),
which means to eat in secret, comes from this legend. Indeed, you’ll never see an octopus eating because its mouth is located underneath the body. That’s why we say the octopus is eating secretly.
The full name is “‘Aimeho-i-te-rara-varu” or Aimeho with eight radiations, representing the eight tentacles of the octopus. The octopus’ head sits on Mount Rotui and its tentacles radiate out to form the island’s eight mountain ranges. From the temple of Papetoai, we can see the head and the two eyes of the octopus lying on Mount Rotui.