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James Morrison's Account of TahitiIndigenous Histories
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Division, Government &c.


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Division, Government &c.

The Island of Taheite is devided into Seventeen Districts Calld Venooa (or Lands) with the name of the Head Chief of each annex’d. These are again divided into Chiefs Shares (or Patdoo) and these again into lesser Divisions calld Bahooe which are the Squires Shares and the Lord of the Mannor holds three Bahooe.

The Names of the Districts of Taheite Nooe are, 1st Oparre, 2nd Maatavye, 3rd Fwhapyeano, 4th Yunnowheea, 5th Teearey, 6th Heedeea — These six are always in alliance and are Calld by the General Name of Tepirreonoo and Teeahhoroa and Extend from the Isthmus along the North side of the Island Westward to Tettaha — 7th Vyeerre, 8th Vyeooreede, 9th Paparra — these Three extend from the Isthmus Westward on the South Side to Attahooroo, and are known by the name of Tedevvaeuta — they are always in alliance with Tepirreonoo — 10th Attahooroo, 11th Tettaha — these two Districts lye on the West side of the Island and were ever rebelious to the reigning King till they were reduced in our time into Subjection. Taheite Eete Contains six Districts which are, 1st Affwhaheetdee, 2nd Towtirra (Calld by Captain Cook Oheitepeha), 3rd Teparre, 4th Vyeowtaya, 5th Matowwye, 6th Vyeooroo — the First beginning at the Isthmus on the North Side and the last ending at the Isthmus on the South Side — these Six were also rebellious and never suffered the Kings Flag to pass till our time — for a list of the Present Chiefs of Taheite See the Vocabulary.22

The Chiefs of Taheite are of two Houses, which are Tepirreonoo and Tedevvaeuta, each being absolute in their own dominions but only one can be Earee Nooe or king and the other lives in Friendship with him till Death or War disposesses Him of His Honors and title which then devolves on the other. They are supported by Voluntary Contributions and Free Gifts which however the People must not refuse to make if they have wherewithal to supply the Demand; if they have not it is not expected — The present Earee Nooi (or King) is the Son of Matte or O’Too, his name is Toonooeayeteatooa which may be thus translated, ’Too, the Great begotten of God’, and his title Eatoa Raa or Sacred God — which Sacraligous Name and title He obtained by His Mother declaring that the Deity (Taane) Cohabited with her in her Sleep and, proving Pregnant soon after, the Child was declared to be the Offspring of the Deity and is rever’d as something supernatural — the only Male of The House of Tedevvaeuta is Tomaree Son of Pbooraya (Calld Oberea by Captain Cook) deceased, and Oammo, and Should both lines become extinct the Royal Marro becomes


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© Derived from the 1935 Print Edition edited by Owen Rutter, page 165, 2004
Published by South Seas, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher
To cite this page use: http://nla.gov.au/nla.cs-ss-jrnl-morrison-035