Some Early Ancestors of Rarotonga



THE first of the gods (men, in the original,) who visited Rarotonga was Tu-te-rangi-marama, who was also named Tumu-te-varovaro. This god named the newly-discovered land Te Tupua-o-Avaiki. This name is well known, and acknowledged at the present time as being the oldest name of the island extant. The literal meaning of the name so well known, Tumu-te-varovaro, is the “heart” or “source of life.” To Tu-te-rangi-marama was born a son named Mo'o-kura, who took to wife Kaua. Mo'o-kura and his wife migrated to an island to the westward named Nga-varivari-te-tava,1 said to be very rocky and precipitous.

Tu-te-rangi-marama resided for a time at Rarotonga, and subsequently went on a visit to his son Mo'o-kura at Nga-varivari-te-tava. During his absence, Tangaroa2 came to Rarotonga, accompanied by his warrior Au-make. Seeing that the land was very mountainous, Tangaroa made up his mind to level it off in places, so commanded his warrior to commence on the work with his enchanted walking-stick. The mountain named Rae-maru was then chopped in half, as it appears at the present day. (Rae-maru is a flat-topped mountain at the back of the village of Arorangi, Rarotonga.) The portions of the “house” (mountain) chopped off were thrown to the winds: a portion was drifted to the island of Nga-varivari-te-tava, where dwelt Tu-te-rangi-marama and his son Mo'o-kura. This portion was recognised by Tu-te-rangi-
marama as part of his land, and he at once set out to visit his island. He arrived safely, only to find part of his “house” standing; the “roof” had been cut off.

The lament (pe'e) in connection with this fable is as follows:—(See the original in the Rarotonga language.)

Tangaroa came from Iva3; he left no names at Rarotonga.

The next visitor to Rarotonga was an ariki from Iva named Ngare. He left his name on a running stream at Arorangi, which is named Vai-o-Ngare to the present day. Ngare returned to Iva.

The next visitor was a woman from Iva named Toko. The only mark left of her visit is the boat-passage through the reef at the settlement of Arorangi, which is named Vai-Toko to the present day.

E Tuatua Tupuna no Rarotonga.
Na Kiva.

Ko Tumu-te-varovaro; ko Tu-te-rangi-marama tetai ingoa o taua tangata ra; koia tei tae mua ana ki te enua nei, ko Rarotonga. Teia to tatou kite, ko te ingoa mua ia Rarotonga nei; teia te ingoa tana i topa ei ingoa no te enua, ko “Te-tupua-o-Avaiki.” Te ora ua nei rai taua ingoa ra, kare ua e mate. Te aiteanga i taua ingoa ra, ko Tumu-te-varovaro, ko te manava o te enua. Anau a Tu-te-rangi-marama, ko Mo'o-kura, e tamaroa; tana vaine ko Kaua. Kua aere a Mo'o-kura ki Nga-varivari-te-tava noo ei, ma tana vaine. E mato ua taua enua; tei te iku-matangi.

Kua roa to Tu te-rangi-marama nooanga ki Rarotonga nei, aere atura aia ki Nga-varivari-te-tava kia kite i te tamaiti—ia Mo'o-kura. Kia no'o a Tu-te-rangi-marama ki Nga-varivari-te-tava, kua aere atura a Tangaroa ki Rarotonga ma tona tumu-toa, ma Au-make; mei Iva mai raua. Kua akane (? akaue) atura a Tangaroa ia Au-make kia vava'i i te are (enua) a Tu-te-rangi-marama; kua rave akera a Au-make i tana tokotoko, kua tipi atura i te are o Tu-te-rangi-marama—inga atura ki raro taua are ra; ko Rae-maru tetai ingoa. E kite akera a Tu-te-rangi-marama i te rau e te ka'o o tona are, kua kavea atu e te tai e te matangi ki Nga-varivari-te-tava; ko to Tu-te-rangi-marama kite e, kua tipia e Au-make tona are, kua aere mai ra a Tu-te-rangi-marama ki Rarotonga nei, e akara i tona are. Ko te turu-turu ua rai te tu ra.

Teia te pe'e no taua are ra, i te tipianga a Au-make:

1 Opara koe i te Tumu-enua, ia Rae-maru—e—, kua inga—e—Kua takoto a Tumu-enua, ka tu?, tu?.
2 Ko naau, naau ana ki te ipo—e—, in?, in?, a—e—,
Ane mai te maunga—e—, Paere mai te maunga a noa toru—e—
E maunga ïa, ko maunga o tapu, kia aere mai a Rua-turuturu,
Kia tangiia te maki o Kati-enu?, ka tu?, tu?—e—

3 Ko naau, naau ana ki te ipo—e—, ko naau ana, tu?, tu?, a—e—
Ane mai te maunga—e—, Paere mai te maunga a no? toru—e—
E maunga ïa, ko karanga o te atua ra,
Kia aere mai a Mo'o-kura te uru—e—
Kia tangiia te maki o Kati-enua, ka tu?, tu?,—e—e—
4 Ko naau, naau ana, ki te ipo—e—, ko naau ana, tu?, tu?, a—e—
Ka ngaoro ei te ngaoro, ka makere ei te makere,
Kio nui, kio vera, tei Poatu-nui—e—
Poatu-uri, Poatu-ngao, tei Tua-kata, tei Tuoro, tei te Reinga,
Tei Ta'akoka, tei Nga-varivari-te-tava—e—
Tei te kainga o Mo'o-kura,
Te akaputunga ia Kati-enua, ka tu?, tu?,
Te akara nei tatou i te turuturu i tona are.

Kare a Tangaroa i topa ingoa ana ki runga ki te enua nei ko Rarotonga.

I muri ake ia raua, kua aere mai tetai ariki ke; ko Ngare tona ingoa—te topa rai i tona ingoa ki runga i te kau-vai; koia Vai-o-Ngare. Kare ona ingoa i runga i te enua; kua oki a ia ki Iva.

I muri ake ia Ngare, kua aere mai tetai, e vaine, ko Toko tona ingoa. Tera tona ingoa, tei te ava i Aro-rangi—koia oki a Vai-Toko. Kua oki a ia ki Iva.

Karika's Migration to Rarotonga.

After several severe battles at Avaiki,4 Karika left that land in his canoes Te Au-o-tonga and Te Au-ki-iti in search of a new country. After many adventures, and after a tempestuous voyage, he arrived at Rarotonga, which he named Tumu-te-varovaro-o-Tonganui. He landed at the north side and erected hismarae, which he named Ava-rua. He brought with him his god Rangatira, afterwards married to Tonga-iti.

Shortly after his arrival, accompanied by Rangatira, he went on a journey of discovery into the interior of the island. They ascended a high mountain near the centre of the island, named Te Kou. They took with them a toy canoe, in which were two fish, one named Karai and the other Taputapu. These they placed in a spring of water in the crater of the extinct volcano of Te Kou as a sign; also a piece of coral rock which they had brought with them from Avaiki.5 Karika then appointed two caretakers of the spring; the names of these two caretakers were Tutu-noa and Nana-noa. Karika then left for the seaside, leaving6 Rangatira behind on the top of the mountain.

It appears that two other men, named Tau-tika and Maru-mao-mao, heard of this, and proceeded to the mountain in search of Rangatira. Upon enquiring from the caretakers the whereabouts of Rangatira, they were informed that she had gone for a walk. They then set to work and dug a drain so as to lead the water from the spring over to the east side of the mountain towards Avana, at Nga-tangiia, and so divert its course from the north, or Ava-rua side;
at the same time telling the caretakers Tutu-noa and Nana-noa to conceal what they had done. They then disappeared. Shortly afterwards Rangatira, accompanied by Tonga-iti, came to the crater, and at once noticed the drain. They enquired from the caretakers as to who had done this work. The latter replied that they had been asleep, and did not know who had been there. At this moment Tau-tika and Maru-maomao returned. Upon seeing them, Rangatira and Tonga-iti enquired, “Was it you who cut this drain to take my water to Avana?” They replied, “It is not your water, it is ours.” They then quarrelled furiously. At length Rangatira said, “Show me a sign that the water is yours.” Tau-tika and his companion were silent at this. Rangatira then took them to the spring and said, “There is my mark. See the two fish and the coral rock which I have placed there.” It was too late, however, for Rangatira; the water already flowed to Avana, and does so to this day. It is the only river which takes its source from the crater of Te Kou (The Mist), and never runs dry all the year round.7

Soon after this Karika returned to Avaiki, and there persuaded his relation Tu-Rarotonga to return with him to Tumu-te-varovaro, where they arrived safely, and landed at Muri-vai (Tupapa). Here they erected their marae, which they named Arai-te-tonga. Karika left Tu-Rarotonga in charge of the marae, and returned to Avaiki. He then organised a large party to colonise Rarotonga, amongst whom was Kaputa, whom he located at Kaena, a place adjoining a small promontory which he called Te Kena-o-Avaiki. Kaputa settled here (the district is now called Aro-rangi), and his descendants are chiefs of the district at the present time. Karika returned again to Avaiki and informed his friends of his doings at Tumu-te-varovaro. He next organised another party, at the head of which was Pua-teki. This time they landed on the west side of the island, and Pua-teki was installed as lord or ruler. He named this spot Tokerau-o-Avaiki. After this was all settled the now celebrated navigator returned again to Avaiki, where he secured another relation named Moko, with whom and his party he made his fifth voyage, landing on the east side of the island, where he made Moko ruler over the district, which ne named Akapu-ao (now called Titi-kaveka). Again he returned to Avaiki, and back again to Rarotonga, landing at the north-east side (Nga-tangiia), and dragged his canoe inland to Vai-paku, where he erected his marae, which he named Iti-akarau. Now, for the last time, Karika went back again to Avaiki. Upon his return on this seventh voyage he met at sea, near Maketu, Mauke Island, the canoe of Tangiia from Tahiti-nui-maru-a-rua.8 They rushed at each other, for Karika wished to slay Tangiia. However, after a severe struggle, Karika came off victorious. Tangiia gave over his mana (power) to Karika, and was allowed to proceed on his voyage, being followed by Karika, who landed at his former favourite spot, Muri-vai, where his
marae of Arai-te-tonga was erected. He located seventy of his people at a place named Kii-kii, and then proceeeed on with his wife and family and settled at Te Rua-akina, where the Karika family live at the present day.

Subsequently another canoe arrived at Rarotonga with Ava9 and his tini (or many, his tribe in fact); where they came from is uncertain. Upon their arrival, Karika seized his club of war named Nina-enua (which he had taken from the house of Rongo-ma-tane, at Avaiki) and with his warriors annihilated Ava and the whole of his people.

Soon afterwards another canoe arrived with Peinga, and his tini. Karika once more took his club Nina-enua, and this second invasion shared the same fate as Ava and his tere, or fleet. Following these, were three other arrivals at different periods, namely, those of Ou-Rua-riki and Te Ika-tau-rangi, who all shared the same fate at the hands of Karika.

After these tragic events, Tangiia arrived, and he was met by Karika at the N.E. entrance (now called Nga-tangiia). Tangiia landed and was received warmly by Karika; his canoes were drawn up to a place called Miro-miro. Karika then took Tangiia and party to Arai-te-tonga, to a great feast. Afterwards Tangiia informed Karika that he would go inland to settle, and allow Karika to settle on the beach side. Upon Karika asking his reason for wishing to go inland, Tangiia confessed that he was frightened of his elder brother Tu-tapu, with whom he had quarrelled at Tahiti-nui, hence his ocean voyage.10 Even now he was in fear, lest he should be followed. Karika then took Tangiia under his protection, and they lived together for a time at a place called Tauae, at Avarua. It was not for long, however. One day Tangiia's sister arrived at Ava-rua, from Vai-kokopu (Nga-tangiia), with the information that the canoe of Tu-tapu had arrived in search of Tangiia; hence the saying “Te tika a te tuaine.

Upon hearing this, Tangiia was much troubled, and consulted with his friend Karika as to what was to be done. Karika at once said, “Let us go to Vai-kokopu and interview Tu-tapu.” After some hesitation they started, taking with them Karika's daughter, Moko-roa-ki-etu. On their journey they encountered one of Tu-tapu's warriors, named Mata-roa, whom they slew. They then parted, Karika and his daughter taking the beach road, and Tangiia the inland road. Karika soon fell in with another warrior, named Pare-maremo, whom he killed with his club Nina-enua; he also killed another man named Taua-raro. The next slain was Te Tarava; and so he travelled on, slaying as he went, on to a spot named Tutui-a-iua, where he rested and waited for Tangiia. Upon the arrival of Tangiia, they again started, Tangiia again taking the inland road. Soon after Karika met Tu-tapu himself. A combat took place, and Karaki wounded Tu-tapu severely in the ankle. Tu-tapu, seeing that he was getting the worst of it,
escaped into the jungle, and fled to the Avana river. Karika and Tangiia then proceeded together in search of Tu-tapu, and discovered him washing his wounded foot in the Avana river. Karika at once sprang upon him, and with one blow from Nina-enua cleft the skull of Tu-tapu. Tangiia, seeing his brother and enemy was dead, at once gouged out his eyes and swallowed them. The priests were angry at this, and expostulated with Tangiia, saying “Ariki kai vave koe, e Tangiia!

The body of Tu-tapu was taken to the Marae,11 and was afterwards cooked and eaten. Tangiia remained at this place, which is Ngati-Tangiia to the present day, whilst Karika returned to his home at Ava-rua. The present Makea family of arikis, of Ava-rua, are the Karika clan. Tino-mana, the present ariki of Aro-rangi, is a descendant of Tangiia's. Tino-mana, having got into trouble at Ngati-Tangiia, came to Ava-rua, and lived with Makea-Karika for a time, but finally settled at Aro-rangi. Pa-Ariki of Takitumu, came originally from Vavau,12 and was adopted by Tangiia.

E Tuatua no Karika o Rarotonga.
Na Putua-ariki.

I muri mai tetai tamaki maata ki Avaiki, kua aere mai a Karika ki te moana i runga i nga vaka ona; tera te ingoa o tetai, ko Te Au-o-tonga, tera te ingoa o tetai, ko Te Au-ki-iti. Tera tona tere, e kimi enua aere. Kua roa ratou ki te moana, e kua rokoia ratou i te uriia; kare rai ratou e kino, e kua tae mai ki te enua nei, ko Rarotonga. Kua topa a Karika i te ingoa o te enua, ko Tumu-te-varovaro-o-Tonga-nui. Kua kake ratou ki uta i te pae tokerau, e kua akatu te marae, tera te ingoa o te marae, ko Ava-rua. Tera te ingoa o tona atua i apai mai aia mei Avaiki, ko Rangatira; i muri mai i reira, kua takoto a Rangatira ki tana tane; ko Tonga-iti te ingoa o te tane.

Kare i roa, kua aere a Karika ma Rangatira e nga tavini erua—ko Tutu-noa te ingoa o tetai, e ko Nana-noa to tetai. Kua aere ratou ki te tutaka i te enua. Kua tae ratou ki runga i te maunga, ia Te Ko'u; kua apai ratou i roto i tetai vaka, tetai punga, e erua ika—e Karai tetai, e Taputapu tetai. E kua kave iora ratou i nga ika e te punga ki roto i te puna vai, ei akairo. E kua akanooia ïa nga tavini, ko Tutu-noa, e Nana-noa ei tiaki i te vai. Kua aere a Karika i reira ki ta'atai, kua akonoia a Rangatira ki te maunga.

Kua akarongo e tetai puke tangata i tei reira—ko Tau-tika te ingoa o tetai, e ko Maru-maomao te ingoa o tetai—e kua aere nga puke tangata ki te maunga ei kimi ia Rangatira. Kua ui atu raua ki nga tiaki-vai ia Rangatira. Kua karanga mai nga tiaki-vai, “Tena, kua aere atu nei.” Kua ko iora nga tangata—ko Tau-tika e Maru-maomao i tetai mata-vai, kia aere te vai ki Avana (Nga-tangiia) kia kore e aere te vai ki Ava-rua, ma te ako ki nga tiaki-vai, auraka e akakite ta raua angaanga e rave. Kare e roa, kua aere mai a Tonga-iti raua ko Rangatira; kite atura raua i te mata-vai, kua ui atu ki nga tiaki-vai, “E naai e ko te mata-vai?” Kua pikika'a mai nga tiaki-vai, “Kare maua e kite, kua varea maua i te moe.” Kua tae mai i reira a Tau-tika raua ko Maru-maomao, kua ui i reira a Tonga-iti e Rangatira kia raua, “Naai e kave ta maua vai ki Avana?” Kua karanga mai a Tau-tika e Maru-maomao, “Kare a korua te vai; na maua te vai.” Kua tauetono ratou i reira; e keta tetai na raua, e keta tetai no raua. Kua karanga mai a Rangatira i reira, “Teea ta korua akairo?” Kua muteki raua i reira. Kua karanga mai a Rangatira, “E aere mai, e akara i toku akairo.” Tera rai nga ika e te punga i raro i te vai, na ra, kare a Rangatira ma Tonga-iti ravenga; kua aere te vai ki Avana; e teia noa'i. Ko te vai ua teia, mei Te Ko'u ki ta'atai, e kare rava e mate.

E muri mai i reira, kua oki a Kariki ki Avaiki, e kua rave i tetai ona taekae—ko Tu-Rarotonga te ingoa—i runga i tona pa'i; e kua oki akaou mai ra ki Tumu-te-varovaro. Kua tae meitaki mai ratou ki te enua, kua kake ratou ki uta ki Muri-vai, i Tu-papa; e kua akatu ta raua marae, e kua topa iora te ingoa o taua marae ra, ko Arai-te-tonga. Kua akano'o a Karika ia Tu-Rarotonga ei tiaki i te marae. E, kua oki akaou atura aia ki Avaiki. Kua rauka mai i reira tona tini tangata, ko Kaputa ma. Kua kake mai ratou ki uta ki Kaena i ngai vaitata ki tetai putonga maunga, e tapa akera te ingoa, ko Te Kena-o-Avaiki. Kua akano'oia aia ia Kaputa ma i reira. (Teianei ko Aro-rangi.) Ko te katiri a Kaputa tei noo i teianei tuatau ki Aro-rangi. Kua oki akaou atu a Karika i reira ki Avaiki, e kua akakite aere i tana i rave ki Te Tumu-te-varovaro. Kare e roa, kua rauka akaou i tetai tini tangata—ko Pua-teki te pu; kua aere mai ratou ki te enua, e kua kake mai ki uta ki te ngai opunga o te ra, e, kua topa iora te ingoa o taua ngai ra, ko Tokerau-o-Avaiki. Kua oti tei reira, kua oki akaou a Karika ki Avaiki, e, kua tiki ia Moko, e taekae rai nona, e tana tini tangata. Kua kake ratou ki uta i te ngai itinga o te ra. Ko te rima teia'o tona aerenga ki Avaiki. Kua akano'o akera aia ia Moko ki Ava-puao (teianei ko Titi-kaveka) e, kua oki akaou aia ki Avaiki; e oki akaou mai rai, e kake mai ki uta aere atura ki Vai-paku. E, kua akatu te marae ko Iti-akarau te ingoa. Kua oki akaou, ko te aerenga openga teia. Kia oki mai aia, kua aravei aia ia Tangiia ki te moana, vaitata ki Maketu, i Mauke. No Tahiti-nui-maru a-rua aia. Kua tamaki ratou ki te moana; na ra, kare e roa kua riro te re
ia Karika. Kua akaaka a Tangiia, e, kua oatu tona mana roa rai ki runga ia Karika, e aere atura. Kua aere atu katoa a Karika ki te enua, e, kua kake ki uta ki tona ngai rai, ko Muri-vai, tei reira oki tona marae, ko Arai-te-tonga. Kua akano'o aia ïa e itu ngauru tangata ki tetai ngai, ko Kiikii te ingoa, e aere atura aia ma tana vaine e te kopu tangata ki Te Rua-akina, tei reira te kainga o Ngati-Karika e teia noa'i.

E muri mai e reira, kua aere mai tetai vaka tangata ki te enua; koia oki ko Ava, e tona tini; kare noa rai e taka te ngai no reira mai ratou. Tu akera a Karika, kua rave tona rakau-tamaki—ko Nina-enua te ingoa (kua apai mai aia taua rakau ra mei Avaiki mai, ko roto te are o Rongo-ma-tane). E, kua taia ia Ngati-Ava, e kua pou takiri.

Kua aere mai i reira tetai vaka tangata ke, koia oki ko Peinga, e tona tini tangata. Kua tu rai a Karika, kua rave ia Nina enua, e kua taia ia Ngati-Peinga, e, kua pou takiri. Pera katoa te vaka tangata o Rua-riki ma; e pera katoa te vaka tangata o Te Ika tau-rangi—kua taia anake ia, e, kua pou takiri.

I taua tuatau rai, kua tae mai a Tangiia ma, kua kake mai ki uta i Nga-tangiia, e, kua kika tona vaka ki uta ki Miromiro. Kua aravei a Karika ia Tangiia, e, kua arataki aia ia Ngati-Tangiia ki Arai-te-tonga, e, kua angai ia ki te umu kai maata. E oti taua umu kai ra, kua karanga mai a Tangiia kia Karika, na ko maira, “Ka aere matou ki uta e no'o ei, e no'o ana kotou ki ta'atai nei.” Kua ui e reura a Karika ki aia, “?a koe e akapera'i?” Kua akakite a Tangiia e reira, kua mataku aia ia tona tuakaua, ko Tu-tapu; no te mea, kua pekapeka ana rana ki Tahiti-nui, e, kua mataku aia—ko te arumaki a Tu-tapu i aia. Kua rave a Karika e reira ia Tangiia i rotopu i aia, e, kua no'o kapiti raua ki Tauae, i Ava-rua. Kare ra i roa ïa, kua aere mai i tetai ra, a te tuaine a Tangiia mei Vai-kokopu mai (Nga-tangiia) e, kua akakite kia raua e, kua tae mai te vaka o Tu-tapu i te kimi aere ia Tangiia, no reira te tuatua, “Te tika a te tuaine.”

Kua tumatetenga i reira a Tangiia, e, kua ui kia Karika, “E akapeea?” Kua karanga mai a Karika, “Ka aere taua ki Vai-kokopu, kia kite taua ia Tu-tapu.” Kua akatika a Tangiia ki tei reira tuatua, e, kua aere ratou—e aru katoa te tamaine a Karika, ko Mokoroa-ki-etu te ingoa. Ko Karika e te tamaine, kua aere raua na ta'atai; ko Tangiia, kua aere aia na uta. Aere atura a Karika ma ki te ara, kua aravei ia Mata-roa, tetai toa o Tu-tapu; rave iora a Karika ia Nina-enua, taia atura, e, kua mate takiri! Aere atura, kua aravei i tetai toa rai o Tu-tapu, ko Pare-maremo te ingoa, taia atura, kua mate takiri! Aere atura, kua aravei ia Taua-raro, kua taia rai, e mate takiri. Pera katoa a Te Tarava e tetai atu toa. Aere atu ra, kua akaanga rai ki Te Tutui-a Ina, e, kua tapapa ia Tangiia. Kua tae mai a Tangiia ma, a, kua aere atura raua—na uta tetai, na tai tetai. Kua aravei i reira a Karika ia Tu-tapu tikai ki te ara, e, kua ta atura raua. Kua ati tetai vaevae a Tu-tapu i tei reira tamakianga. Na ra,
kua oua a Tu-tapu, kua ngaro i roto i te ngangaere. Aru aere a Karika rana ko Tangiia i te kimi aere ia Tu-tapu, e, kua kitea i raro i te vai i Avana; tei te oroi i tona vaevae maki. Kua rere atura a Karika ki runga ia Tu-tapu, kua rave ia Nina-enua, taia atura a Tu-tapu, e, kua mate takiri! Kua kite akera a Tangiia, kua mate a Tu-tapu, kua naonao te mata a Tu-tapu, e, kua apuku atura. Kua riri i reira nga Taunga, ma te karanga, “Ariki kai vave koe, e Tangiia!”

Kua apai te kopapa a Tu-tapu ki te marae; e oti, kua tao ki te nmu, kare e maoa; apai atura ki Akapu-ao, kare rai e maoa; apai atu rai ki Aro-rangi, kare rai e maoa, e akaoti ki Nga-tangiia, kua tao akaou, ko te kuru te vaiei, kua maoa i reira, e, kua pou te kai. Kua no'o a Tangiia i reira ei ariki, koia oki ko Ngati-Tangiia e teia noa'i.

Kua oki a Karika ki Ava-rua—ko Makea-Ariki i teia tuatau, ko Makea-Karika rai aia. Ko Tino-mana e maanga pekapeka tona ki Nga-tangiia, e, kua aere mai aia ki Ava-rua no'o ei. E muri mai e reira, kua aere aia ki Aro-rangi, koia te Ariki o Aro-rangi i teia tuatau nei. Ko Pa-Ariki o Takitumu, no Vavau aia—e tamaiti rave no Tangiia.


The foregoing account of the settlement of Rarotonga—sent to us by our fellow-member, Mr. H. Nicholas—is published as supplementary to those already printed in this Journal (vol. i, p. 22 and p. 64; vol. ii, p. 271), and because there are some points in it that bear on the general history of Polynesia. By comparing the traditionary history preserved in many of the islands of the Pacific, it will hereafter be possible to reconstruct a somewhat consistent account of the doings of many of the Polynesian heroes. It is indeed, somewhat remarkable, the general agreement as to the main facts of the history of this people, when the traditions preserved by different branches who have been separated for over five hundred years, are compared one with another. The following notes illustrate this in more than one instance; and attention is drawn to them with a view of inciting our members in the Central Pacific to collect as much as possible whilst there is still a chance of doing so.

[page of footnotes]

1  —Nga-varivari-te-tava, as the name of an island to the west of Rarotonga is not known to us; it is possibly an ancient name, now supplanted by a more modern one. This has often occurred in the Pacific. The Tonga group is directly west of Rarotonga, but no such name is known to us in that group.
2  —Tangaroa, whose visit is recorded in Kiva's narrative, is probably some early navigator of that name, and not the god known in most of the islands.
3  —Iva, this is probably intended for Hiva in Raiatea Island, mentioned in “The legend of Honoura” (Journal, vol. iv, p. 275), of which place, Tu-tapu was king at the date of Karika's migration to Rarotonga.
4  —The particular Avaiki here mentioned is, in all probability, Savai'i of the Samoan Group. In corroboration of this, see Rev. J. B. Stair's “Early Samoan Voyages,” in this Journal, vol. iv, p. 107 (fourteenth voyage).
5  —In connection with the piece of coral rock brought from Avaiki by Karika compare the account of the stone brought by Nga-toro-i-rangi in the Arawa canoe from Hawaiki, and left at Cape Colville, N.Z. (Journal, vol. ii, p. 234). Probably it was intended as a whatu-kura, such as described by Hare Hongi at p. 39, vol. iii, of this Journal.
6  —The word akono, here translated by Mr. Browne as “leaving,” appears from its use in the Rarotongan scriptures, to be more akin to “appointed,” “dedicated,” and probably refers to Karika's god Rangatira having been especially left there as a guardian for the island.
7  —The story of the diversion of the water from one side of the island to the other, will also be found at p. 142, vol. v, of this Journal.
8  —See this Journal, vol. iv, p. 106, for an account of the meeting of Karika and Tangiia. The name given, Tahiti-nui-maru-a-rua, would appear to be identical with that preserved by the Tuhoe tribe of New Zealand for Tahiti, which with them, is Tahiti-nui-a-rua. From the “Legend of Honoura,” referred to above, Tangiia (there called Ta'ihia) was a well-known chief of Tahiti, a fact preserved by the Tahitian traditions. The identity of the names is proved by the connection with Tu-tapu.
9  —“Subsequently another canoe arrived at Rarotonga with Ava and his tini; where they came from is uncertain.” This statement seems to confirm a tradition preserved by the Ngati-Awa tribe of the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand. This tradition is to the following effect: Toi, the great ancestor of the aboriginal people of New Zealand, found here on the arrival of the fleet from Hawaiki about the year 1350, had many sons, of whom Awa-nui-a-rangi was the youngest. The tradition says that this Awa left New Zealand and went to Hawaiki, and never returned, though he left descendants in New Zealand who became the Tini-o-Awa tribe. This same Awa-nui-a-rangi had descendants in Hawaiki, and the sixth generation from him was Toroa, captain of the Mata-atua canoe, which formed part of the fleet that arrived in New Zealand about the year 1350. From the mean of a large number of genealogies, Toroa lived twenty generations back from 1850, consequently Awa-nui-a-rangi lived some twenty-six generations back from the same year. It is well known the Rarotongan genealogies make Karika and Tangiia to have flourished about twenty-five generations ago; consequently Awa-nui-a-rangi might have been a contemporary of theirs, and be identical with the Ava of this story, of whom it is said, “where they came from is uncertain.” This of course is not proof; but it seems to indicate that further enquiry, both in New Zealand and Rarotonga, is desirable; especially so, as to what is the origin of the Ngati-Ava tribe of Rarotonga. We appeal both to Mr. Nicholas and to Mr. A. H. Browne to clear up this point so far as it relates to Rarotonga.
10  —For details of this quarrel see “Early Samoan Voyages,” Journal, vol. iv, p. 186; and the “Legend of Honoura” for the Tahitian account, vol. iv, p. 275; et seq.
11  The translator has apparently left out the following after the word Marae, “after that, it was placed in the oven, but could not be cooked; it was then taken to Akapu-ao, but could not even then be cooked; it was then taken to Aro-rangi with no better success, but at Nga-tangiia, where bread-fruit wood was used, the cooking was successful, and the body eaten.”
12  —The Vavau here mentioned is doubtless Polapola, of the Society Group, the ancient name of which was Vavau, and from whence came many of the ancestors of the New Zealand Maoris.—Editors.


Cook Islands Time

Cook Islands Calendar

March 2017

Follow us

Login Form

Get a Website

If you want to create a professional looking web site and you don't have any HTML programming experience or design skills

If you Have a static web site and you want more control over how the content is displayed and updated

If you want a website you can easily update yourself

If you run a company and want to sell some of your products online

Contact Us and get started...


Sava Duty Free

Ocean Fresh

Cook Island News

Manea Foods

Mervin Communications


For best sound - Download

Jetsave Travel

Copyright © 2017 All Rights Reserved.
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU/GPL License.