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Adams, Memoirs of Arii TaimaiIndigenous Histories
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Chapter II


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Chapter II

Even the origin and meaning of the Teva name is lost. The word is more or less known in many different places and languages. Fiji has a small tribe or clan of Tevas, but these are said to be not Polynesian at all. Our Tevas claim by tradition a descent from the Shark God. Many generations ago a chief of Punaauia, named Te manutunuu, married a chiefess of Vaiari, named Hototu, and had a son, Terii te moanarau. At the birth of the child, the father, Te manutunuu, set out in his boat for the Paumotu islands to obtain red feathers (Ura) to make the royal Maro for the young prince.

So the story begins by taking for granted that before the first Teva existed, Punaauia and Vaiari had already their own chiefs and Maraes. The legend is clear in adding that the Marae of Punaauia was founded for this same young prince, Terii te moanarau, by his father, Te manutunuu, in order that he might wear in his own Marae the Maro-ura which was made of the feathers collected in this voyage to the Pau-motus. The name Punaauia is said to have come from the killing of a relation whose body had been rolled up as fish were rolled. The legend starts by assuming that Vaiari was the oldest family, with its Maraes, and that Punaauia was later in seniority and rank.

While Te manutunuu was absent on his long voyage to the Pau-motus, which required several months, a visitor appeared at Vaiari and of course had to be entertained by the chiefess. This visitor, our first ancestor, was what Europeans call a demi-god; he was only half

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© Derived from the revised Paris edition of 1901 page 12, 2004
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