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Adams, Memoirs of Arii TaimaiIndigenous Histories
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Chapter XIII


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Chapter XIII (continued)

arranged, and the Papara people still preserve a song intended to celebrate the occasion:

ARIIFAATAIA AND MAHEANUU

Orie e pati i te pae tahatai

E mahuta mai te aaura i Taravao.

Ei tapihoo itei Terehemanu

Ia vai noa mai te moua iti ra Tearatauru

E Temarii e e oto oe i te moua ra moua Tamaiti.

Orie is a fish, or bait, which attracts the bird Aa-ur-a, the parrot with red feathers, of Taravao, meaning of course the Maheanuu, to change place with the bird Terehe, meaning of course Temarii, and share his mounts of Tearatauru and Tamaiti, his most precious possessions. To translate the song literally would be a hopeless task. Its interest is in its local allusions rather than in its poetry.

The Maheanuu having rejected Ariifaataia for his ugliness, her neighbor, the daughter of the chief of Mataiea, became his wife. This was a family connection. Mauaroa, chief of Mataiea, had married Teraiautia of the Aromaiterai family. Their daughter bore several names: Tetuaraenui o Teva; Pipiri; Fareahu; Teriitahi. The missionaries, in their census of the island, in July, 1797, called Temarii’s wife Tayredhy and Tayreede, perhaps meaning Teriitahi, and said that the districts of Wyooreede and Attemono [Vaiari-iti and Attimaono], between Vaiari and Papara, belonged to her. Papara, Paea, and Punaauia were set down as belonging to Temarii, who controlled therefore the whole line of coast between Vaiari and Faaa. These districts contained more than one-fourth of the whole population then supposed to survive in Tahiti; forty-five hundred in the total of sixteen thousand.

Not only was Temarii the most powerful chief on the island, but Pomare had become, by his son’s accession, a chief of the second order. He depended greatly on the favor of his son, the young Tu, who was, in 1797, supposed to be at least fifteen and perhaps seventeen years,


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© Derived from the revised Paris edition of 1901 page 122, 2004
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