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Adams, Memoirs of Arii TaimaiIndigenous Histories
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Chapter IX


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Chapter IX

Now that I have told the story of the Papara family and its connections down to the time of the Rahui war of 1768, and the recognition of Otoo’s right to wear the Maro-ura at Marae Maraetaata, which happened to coincide with Captain Cook’s Voyage, I must take up the story of the Pare Arue family, who under the name of Pomare were to rouse singular interest and passion, not only in Tahiti, but even throughout the Christian world, which became at times, for religious or political reasons, keenly excited about our small island.

Otoo was of course an English name. The full name was Tu-nui-ea-i-te-atu, shortened in common use to the first syllable, Tu, which meant God, whether in its simple monosyllabic form, or in Atua, Aitu and so on. Tu meant the same in most languages, even in English, as in the identical word in Tuesday. I get this information from no deeper source than the Century Dictionary, and claim no credit for it, except that to a European it may help to bring Otoo a little nearer; but whether Tu is English or not, in Tahitian Tu-nui meant a Great God, and the word Tu was a sacred word. I suppose that Tu-i-te-rai is another example of the same thing: God-of-the-Sky. I suppose, too, that Toa, warrior, is a different word, and goes with Duke, and the old Anglo-Saxon here-toga, army-leader; but I mention this only to keep the two ideas separate in the mind of any reader. Tu was a god; Tunui was a great god; and as every chiefly family traced descent from Taaroa or Oro or some of the established deities, the family whose chief bore the title Tunuieaite-atua merely went with the custom of chiefs.

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© Derived from the revised Paris edition of 1901 page 77, 2004
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