This is a Divination of Love.

Te Rakunene is a god of love.

This is an incantation to ask Te Rakunene if someone loves you. You need the pinnule of a coconut leaf (see image). Take a strip of the pinnule and slowly pull it away while whispering the following verse three times. At the end, pull the strip off the pinnule. Then follow the directions below.

Kaiwa Te Rakunene - I-Kiribati Children's Songs - Kiribati - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Intro Image


*Girl's name



After reciting the verse three times, wind the strip of the pinnule around your three middle fingers three times and then tear off the end of the strip. Then straighten out the strip and tear it longwise in two. Tie 5 knots in each strip with the last knot being at the very end. If the end knots on each strip meet at the same point then the person doesn't love you. If one is longer than the other, then the person loves you.

Then you repeat the same process again. This time it's the opposite. If the knots meet up, then the person loves you. If they don't, then s/he doesn't love you.

Thanks and Acknowledgements

This incantation can be found in the following books:

Tungaru Traditions: Writings on the Atoll Culture of the Gilbert Islands by Sir Arthur Francis Grimble (1989).

Migrations, Myth and Magic from the Gilbert Islands: Early Writings of Sir Arthur Grimble (1972) by Rosemary Grimble.

Translation edited by Mama Lisa.
Image adapted by Mama Lisa.