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Adams, Memoirs of Arii TaimaiIndigenous Histories
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Chapter III


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Chapter III (continued)

or Teuraiterai. Like Hurimaavehi of Papeari, Tuiterai could not hear of a handsome woman without wanting her; but Tavi's wife was a person of too much consequence to be approached except in the forms of courtesy required between chiefs, and therefore Tuiterai sent his messenger to Tavi to request the loan of his wife, with a formal pledge that she should be returned in seven days. In the Polynesian code of manners, such a request could not be refused without a quarrel. It could not even be evaded without creating ill-feeling that might end in trouble. Had Tuiterai asked for Tavi's child or anything else that he regarded as most precious, the gift would have to be made, subject of course to reciprocity, for every chief was bound to return as good a gift as he received. Tavi did not want to lend his wife, but his pride and perhaps his interest required the sacrifice, and with the best grace in the world, like the grand seigneur that he was, he sent her to Papara. Apparently she made no objection; if the husband was satisfied, the island code had nothing to say to the wife.

Taurua came to Papara, like a Polynesian queen of Sheba, and made her visit to Tuiterai, who immediately fell madly in love with her, showing it by some acts that were amusing, and by others that were too serious for us to laugh at quite heartily even after eight generations. One of his amusing acts was to take the name Arorua (Aro, breast; rua, two) as a compliment to Taurua's charms, and Tuiterai arorua he is called to this day. The more serious act was that, at the end of the week's visit, he broke his pledge to Tavi, and refused to return Tauroa to her husband. This was an outrage of the most grievous kind, such as he might perhaps have inflicted on a very low man -- a man fit only for a human sacrifice -- but not on a chief; least of all on a chief of equal rank with himself. It was a challenge of force; an act of war. Tuiterai did not attempt to excuse it except on the plea of his infatuation. The Tevas still sing the song of Tuiterai arorua replying to Tavi's messenger who came to demand Tauroa:

"Why should I give up Tauroa? I will not give her up -- I, Tuiterai of the six skies -- her, who has become to me like the Ura to my eyes, brought from Baratoa -- my dear treasure. I have treasured her,


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