Micronesian Mythology

The Gods and Spirits of Micronesia

AREOP-IT-EONIN

Nauru Fire God

Picture of the Micronesian Fire God Areop-It-Eonin from our Micronesian mythology image library. Illustration by Chas Saunders.

Bright young Spider God of Fire

He had an odd origin, being magically born from a large unsightly spot on a tortoise. named Dabage. And his surreal birth seems to have affected his personality, as he grew up to be a boisterous young spider, full of tricks.

His first exploit was to clamber all the way up the sky until he reached the uttermost Heaven. (Why? Just curiosity really.) Once there, he passed the house of Mr Thunder and his wife Lightning, and finally arrived at the door of the Ancient Spider of Creation Areop-Enap.

Areop-Enap knew exactly what a clever arachnid the boy was, and decided to send him on an errand. “It’s nearly dinner time. Run out and fetch me some fire to cook the fish.”

So Areop-It-Eonin went to track down some fire, not bothering to wonder where the old spider got his fish supplies up there in the sky. Perhaps they were flying fish.

Mr Thunder was snoozing between storms when there was a knock at the door. Mrs Lightning looked out and saw a polite young spider standing there. “Hello,” he said, “I’m your new neighbor. I’ve just moved in — can I borrow a cup of fire?”

Mrs Lightning picked up a large piece of firewood and gave him a generous dollop — but warned him to carry it away quietly. “If my husband wakes up, he’ll be very angry and beat me.” But Areop-It-Eonin was so thrilled to be clutching a sample of fire that he danced and sang and clapped several of his hands together with joy.

Of course, all this commotion woke up Mr Thunder. Roaring with displeasure, he stormed after the little spider, intending to squish him. But Areop-It-Eonin whirled around, swinging the fire faster and faster... until thunk! Mr Thunder collided with the burning wood and collapsed to the ground in agony.

So young spider raced back with the precious fire to old Areop-Enap, who was so pleased that he treated the cheeky youngster to a fish supper and allowed him to live in Heaven forever.

We can only assume that on the way he spilt a few drops of the precious fire which fell down to Earth. We also suspect that the injured Mr Thunder has remained in a foul mood to this day.

Areop-It-Eonin Facts and Figures

Name: Areop-It-Eonin
Pronunciation: Coming soon
Alternative names:
Name means: Young Spider

Gender: Male
Type: God
Area or people: Nauru (formerly Pleasant Island), Micronesia
Celebration or Feast Day: Unknown at present

In charge of: Fire
Area of expertise: Fire

Good/Evil Rating: Unknown at present
Popularity index: 155

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Article last revised on April 29, 2019 by Rowan Allen.
Editors: Peter J. Allen, Chas Saunders

References: Coming soon.

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