E'otoro Maki (eh-oh-tore-oh mah-key)
Among the various Oroka tribes, children are expected to contribute to their settlement, typically this is done with physical labor fitting their age and ability. Once an Orokan child reaches fifteen years of age, however, they must undergo a rite of passage to be considered an adult among their people. While the specifics of the ritual vary by location and tribal culture, the core of the tradition is the same: the nascent adult must survive in the wild, hunt a great beast, and return alive to their people. Among the Blackspear Oroka tribe of Torotaua, this is particularly dangerous, as it involves a solo voyage beyond the safety of their island's reef system. Known in their language as E'otoro Maki, (literally "Voyage of the Shark"), it is more fatal than most mainland Oroka rituals.
The E'otoro Maki began shortly after the Blackspear Tribe found a home on the island of Torotaua. With the orokan virility and fecundity resulting in more mouths to feed than the island could support, a hard decision was made. Only those strong enough to hunt and survive would be allowed to become members of the tribe. Moatani instituted a test that all Blackspear would have to undertake: they would have to prove themselves self-sufficient, and capable of navigating the open ocean and hunting the monsters that dwelled within. Once the weak had been weeded out by the ocean itself, the selfish were given a choice: complete the E'otoro Maki or be given to Torotaua. Most fled the island and never returned, but a number were thrown into the volcano that was the goddess' home as sacrifices to the island. The tribe was smaller, but could not afford to grow unchecked. So it was that E'otoro Maki became a rite of passage: survivors would join the tribe, but those who failed would either be cast out or devoured by the ocean. This helped keep the growth of the tribe in check, allowing for a balance to be struck between what the island and the ocean could provide and the continued future of the Blackspear.
First, a Blackspear must fashion a canoe or raft by themselves. This vessel may be oar-powered or equipped with a sail, but it must be constructed alone. Most Blackspear children begin crafting their vessels at ten years of age, and they are often decorated with paints and carvings that represent the fleet of ships that spread into the ocean and delivered the tribe to the safety of Torotaua. Second, a Blackspear must craft a weapon from the obsidian, wood, rock, or other materials found on the island. While most opt for spears, others craft daggers or great clubs known as E'tamaki, studded with obsidian shards or shark teeth. Once their weapons and vessels are crafted, the Blackspear must stock their vessel with whatever supplies they believe they need. Food, water, and rope are the most common. This is typically finished the day before their journey begins, and often involves some large amount of tribal celebration and festivities. Finally, the Blackspear journeys beyond the reef, through the perilous currents and waves outside the lagoon, and into the open ocean. Using the stars to navigate, they must find their way to either another island or to locations known to be homes of predators where they will hunt and kill a great beast before navigating back to Torotaua with their trophy. Most Blackspear seek out Maki (sharks) as they thrive in the waters off of Torotaua, but others will hunt A'lo'mane (Great Beast with Many Hands - Giant Octopi) or A've'mane (Beast with Rock Crushing Hands - Giant Crabs). Returning empty-handed is considered a mark of shame among the Blackspear, and
The chief of the Blackspear Tribe officiates the beginning of each E'otoro Maki, with a convocation of the tribe's members and a blessing from the tribe's shaman. Once the Blackspear child leaves the beach, however, they are alone in the journey.
The journey to adulthood is undertaken by members of the Blackspear Tribe when they reach fifteen years of age.