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Adams, Memoirs of Arii TaimaiIndigenous Histories
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Chapter IV


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Chapter IV (continued)

Aromaiterai and Tuiterai were the names of Teriitahia’s two sons, and, if our genealogies are right, they must have been born, as I have said, between 1690 and 1700. Aromaiterai was the elder, and naturally claimed his father’s position as head-chief. Tuiterai disputed the claim, and, if the family tradition is correct, his plea raised a question worth noticing in these days, when the study of primitive law has become a hobby.

Tuiterai’s plea or defence seems to have turned on the idea that the eldest child, whether male or female, was the only heir who could set up an indefeasible right to the succession, and since the eldest child in this case, being a woman, had married and gone off to Raiatea, all the younger children had equal rights, and might with equal justice claim the position of head-chief.

This was one of the cases in which the sub-chiefs or Hiva must have been the judges, and although we know nothing about the reasons for their action or even the time when they acted, we do know that at one time or for a certain period they decided to send Aromaiterai away -- banish him, in fact -- and that they did it.

As usual, the memory of this revolution is preserved only by a song, but in this instance the poet was Aromaiterai himself, and the song is Aromaiterai’s Lament. The Hiva had sent him out of the district and had placed him in a house at Mataoae, with an emphatic warning that he must not even tell the people of Mataoae who he was. Mataoae is

As usual, the memory of this revolution is preserved only by a song, but in this instance the poet was Aromaiterai himself, and the song is Aromaiterai’s Lament. The Hiva had sent him out of the district and had placed him in a house at Mataoae, with an emphatic warning that he must not even tell the people of Mataoae who he was. Mataoae is


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