This faraway, pre-contact story begins with Helkena, a young, still untattooed girl enduring a typhoon crashing over the only island she has ever known. Her home is Wotto, one of the dry, windswept atolls of the northern Marshall Islands. The newborn infant Lainjin has just been entrusted to her care by his mother, who has sailed her fleet of proas into the open ocean to save them from certain destruction.
Helkena, having barely survived the storm, must now travel to Namdik, a wet atoll in the southern rain belt of the Ralik Chain. As Lainjins surrogate mother, she will sail with the infant by outrigger canoe in the company of his maternal grandfathers. These kind men had recently helped the Wtto Islanders overcome the terrible drought that typically follows a typhoon. With the trade-wind season approaching, its soon time to complete their voyage. The grandfathers begin teaching Helkena the traditional navigational arts along the way.
Her goal is to get her tattoos on Namdik and, in time, to find a man there to take home to Wotto. But will she entice a man from the lush south to her barren desert island?
Far from being a simple story, this colorful, romantic tale presents a surprising background to the lovemaking culture of the Marshall Islands. It also reveals the early years of young ainjin, the hero of the Legends of ainjin historical literary fiction series
This is a pre-prequel to the historical literature series Legends of Lainjin set in the pre-contact Pacific. Helkena, a young untattooed woman, having survived a typhoon caring for the young child Lainjin must now travel to Namdik. Her goal is to get her tattoos there and, in time, to find a man to take home to Wotto. But will she entice a man from the lush south to her barren wind-swept island in the northern part of the island chain?