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Adams, Memoirs of Arii TaimaiIndigenous Histories
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Chapter VII


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Chapter VII (continued)

The various great chiefs who were summoned to the Feast show the extent of Teriirere's influence. Besides Pohuatea at Punaauia, Tepau at Ahurai, and Terii maro ura at Tarahoi, the island of Eimeo was summoned and Puni of Farerua in Borabora, and Raa of Tupai and Maupiti, two islands dependent on Borabora; and finally Teae of Baiatea. A curious bit of old history and manners is preserved in the two lines:

Terii maroura tei Tarahoi Maraianaunau

Te fenua i hara atu ai te maau e.

Idiots were objects of respect in most of the ancient societies, and it seems that a certain Teva idiot must have been an object of great interest, for when he was killed, in the district of Pare, for some offence such as implied that he was considered sane and responsible, the Tevas took up arms and revenged his death by ravaging Pare, and retained the event as a sort of epithet in song against the Porionuu and the Arii of Raianaunau.

The Papara people who made the song seem to have been angry because Amo's advice was not followed in the manner of meeting the invasion. If Captain Cook understood them rightly, they laid their disaster on their neighbor, the Arii of Paea, or Attahuru. Certain it is that, when the blow came, Purea, Amo and Teriirere made their escape across the mountains to Haapape, whose chief was a cousin or uncle of Amo. Purea did not take refuge with her own family. But possibly other reasons controlled their movements, for the song says that the whole Oropaa suffered; and Purea's family district of Ahurai may not have escaped, for Ahurai is but a narrow strip of coast, seven kilometers in length, lying directly next to the Oropaa.

On all these intricate points of island politics, Captain Cook was suddenly thrown, with the effect of confusing and irritating him and all the chiefs he had to deal with. He never quite succeeded in understanding their position or his own. His story is the liveliest picture of our misfortunes.


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© Derived from the revised Paris edition of 1901 page 61, 2004
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