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Adams, Memoirs of Arii TaimaiIndigenous Histories
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Chapter I


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Chapter I (continued)

which is the modern town of Papeete, formerly a mere village of the Porionuu, but now the capital of the French possessions in Oceania. Pare and its adjoining district Arue were called the Purionuu; they were under one chief and were independent of Papara. Beyond the Purionuu came the Te Aharoa, a wide region stretching down the whole east coast, where the Papara influence was weak, if not hostile. No great chiefs existed on that side of the island, which happened to be the side where the English and French ships appeared. Vehiatua in Taia-rapu was a great chief; so was the head of Vaiari and of Papara; so was Punaauia and Tefana i Ahurai; the chief of Pare Arue might be called important; but between the Purionuu and the isthmus of Taravao, forty-eight kilometres, the whole region called Te Aharoa contained no chiefery of the first class. Hitiaa alone was a considerable district, but its chief had not the right to the Maro-ura, and was never at the head of a great confederacy.

Thus the Tevas were not only strong in themselves and their connections, but also in the weakness of their rivals. The Papara head-chief was never head-chief of the whole island. When he called his dependent districts to war or feast or council, he called the inner and outer Tevas and the Oropaa, but not Tefana, the Purionuu or Teaha-roa. The kingship which Europeans insisted on attributing to him, or to any other head-chief who happened for the time to rival him, was never accepted by the natives until forced on them by European influence and arms; but the Tevas when united were always more than a match for the rest of the island.

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© Derived from the revised Paris edition of 1901 page 11, 2004
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