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Adams, Memoirs of Arii TaimaiIndigenous Histories
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Chapter V


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Chapter V (continued)

connections in the island, was a very great lady. Standards of social rank differ a little in different countries and times, but in any country or time a woman would meet with consideration when she and her husband could control a hundred thousand people; when she could build a pyramid for her child, and take for him the produce of a swarming country; when she was handsome, with manners equal to the standard of countries where the manners of Europe would be considered barbarous; and finally, when she had an unbroken descent from chiefs as far back as human society existed; and the consideration would not be the less because, like a large proportion of the more highly educated ladies and gentlemen of Europe, her views on some points of morality were lax and her later career disastrous.

Airorotua, familiarly called Purea, was a daughter of Terii vaetua, chief of Tefana i Ahurai or Faaa, the tail of the fish, close to the modern Papeete and partly including it. The district of Faaa, though it contained only about seven miles of seacoast, was for many reasons very important. It stood, as an independent little nation, between the great Teva alliance on the south, the Porionuu and te Aharoa on the east, and the large island of Eimeo or Moorea, some twelve miles to the west. As Tefana leaned toward Papara or against it, the chiefs of Papara were apt to be less anxious about their enemies or more anxious to win friends. At the time when Amo married Purea, in the middle of the last century, Tefana was particularly strong in its connections.

Terii vaetua, Purea’s father, had married one of the Vaiari family -- Te vahine Airoro anaa te arii ote maevarau of Vaiari, marae Farepua, born literally in the purple or scarlet of the Ura. They had seven children: (1) Tepau i Ahurai, known in the English books of travel as Tubourai Tamaide; (2) Terai mateata; (3) Hituterai; (4) Te vahine Airorotua, or Oberea, Berea, Purea; (5) Teihotu; (6) Auri; (7) Mareiti. Of these seven children three were persons of no small concern to us -- Purea, Teihotu, and Auri. Purea married the chief of Papara and became mother of Teriirere; Teihotu married Vavea of Nuurua and was grandfather of King Pomare; Auri married Tetuaraenui of the Punaauia


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© Derived from the revised Paris edition of 1901 page 41, 2004
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