The history of Manta Ray is unique on for one small isolate village in the west of the capital of East Timor (Dili)
A man and woman went to the ocean to fish. The man name Lekisiri went to fish and woman name Dukumanu went to search seafood. The man release the hook to the deep ocean and he felt like a fish, but he lifted the hook was only a stone. He try again second and third time he asked to his sister and e took the stone home. The stone just like a manta ray. This man fallen a sleep after arriving home without eat and slept for one and half day. Under dreaming, his soul met the owner of the manta ray and explain the preparation to connect with the owner in the ocean by marrying his sister. At the time, there were a lot of manta ray in the ocean but people consider that manta ray is a dangerous fish for their life.
Preparation to create relationship with Manta Ray
He has to build a house at top of a little hills. While his sister stay at the little at the hill, he has to invite the owner of the manta ray to visit. At the same time, the owner of the manta ray come to the little house at the hill and took away his sister to the ocean.
As a reward, the fishermen in this village can catch manta ray as many as they can by using small boats and use traditional praying to catch manta ray. However, the season happen only twice a year. The main reason is manta ray needs time to produce new babies.
Therefore, people in this village have strong connection with the spirit of the owner of the Manta Ray and consider manta ray as cows or buffalo from their brother in-law from the ocean
Note: The stone of manta ray was very small and we can hold by one hand. However, now this stone is growing and getting bigger
Traditionally, they have to connect the relation with two different name of sacred housed. One represent the Sacred house from the Land called To’o Wetu and another one represent Sacred house of the Ocean called Watu Meta. Therefore, the name of this traditional connection called To’o Wetu-Watu Meta. Watu meta is a stone in the middle of the ocean just like the wing of a manta ray.
The complete history is in local language preparing by the Office of the Secretary of State for Culture
I will put more the history after translating in to English