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In Polynesian mythology, Ngaru was a hero who dared the shark-king, Tumuitearetoka, to attack him. Tumuitearetoka could not catch Ngaru, who escaped on the surfboard he had just invented.

Ngaru was black and entirely bald; his wife, Tongatea, left him when she saw his appearance. He bleached himself at a limepit and Tangaroa fixed his hair. Tongatea fell back in love with him.

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