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Tahu’a nui (High Priest)

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Within Maohi society, a Tahu’a nui, or Tahu’a rahi, was literally one ‘great or pre-eminent among men who pray’.

A Tahu’a nui was a high priest who conducted prayers and ceremonies within those marae associated with powerful kin-titles on Tahiti and elsewhere in the Society Islands. He generally inherited the office and was usually descended from one or more high-ranking families.

Tahu'a nui often served as advisers to high-ranking title-holders, and were pre-eminent knowledge custodians. Some wielded great political as well as spiritual influence.

Related Entries for Tahu’a nui (High Priest)
Parties: Tahu’a pure, Priests in Maohi Society | Tahu’a pure, Priests in Maohi Society
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Structure based on ISAAR(CPF) - click here for an explanation of the fields. Created: 15 September 2003

Published by South Seas, 1 February 2004
Comments, questions, corrections and additions: Paul.Turnbull@jcu.edu.au
Prepared by: Paul Turnbull
Updated: 28 June 2004
To cite this page use: http://nla.gov.au/nla.cs-ss-biogs-P000310

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