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Adams, Memoirs of Arii TaimaiIndigenous Histories
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Chapter IX


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Chapter IX (continued)

In ordinary native use, the name was simply Tu, the prefix O being no part of the word. I shall, therefore, call him Tu, but to distinguish the succession of Tus, one has to use the other names which the chief had or took. Before touching the family at all, I shall have, also, to make a long digression in regard to the district of Pare and its history, for the Tu family did not originally belong there in the male line and had a wholly different source.

Many Ariis ruled over Pare before the Tu dynasty was known there, and have left legends enough to fill a volume of their own. The names of five were: (1) Tauaitaata; (2) Teuira arii i Ahutoru; (3) Niuhi; (4) Te huritaua o te Mauu; (5) Taihia. Tauaitaata was the subject of a legend or story that shows what the Tahitians thought interesting or so exceptional as to be worth remembering in their own character and society.

Taua-i-taata, or Tau, for short, Arii of Pare, married Taia, sister of Vanaama-i-terai, chief or Arii of Papenoo, the district beyond Haapape, some fourteen or fifteen miles to the east of Pare. They had two children, whose descendants, by the way, remain Arii of Papenoo down to the present day. That they are Arii of Papenoo and not of Pare was due to the feud told in the following legend.

Vanaa of Papenoo had two jesters, a class of men much petted and allowed many liberties by all Arii. Among other privileges, they were always in the habit of receiving some of the best shares in distributions of food by the Arii. Vanaa’s two jesters were or thought themselves slighted in some such distribution and swore revenge. They asked permission to visit Tau at Pare, and on their arrival were received by Tau with the usual feast, for which fatted pigs were killed as an offering (Faaamua). When it was brought before them they turned to Tau and thanked him, remarking, with a laugh, that Vanaa had compared him with a pig. Of all the stock insults that are most resented throughout Polynesia, one of the worst is to call a man a pig. Such a man is, like a pig, fit only for sacrifice. Many a death and not a few wars have sprung from this word puaa. Naturally Tau felt himself mortally insulted by his brother-in-law, and lost no time in preparing his revenge.

Ordering a great feast to be made ready at the Marae of Raianaunau,

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© Derived from the revised Paris edition of 1901 page 78, 2004
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