The Genealogy of the Kings of Rarotonga and Mangaia as illustrating the colonisation of that island and the Hervey Group
II.—Kings of Mangaia, Hervey Group
II.—Kings of Mangaia, Hervey Group.
The sign of installation of the kings of Mangaia was to be formally seated by the temporal lord, in the presence of the leading under-chiefs, upon "the sacred sandstone" (te kea inamoa) in Rongo's marae (O-Rongo) on the seashore, facing the setting sun. This was their equivalent of our coronation in Westminster Abbey. The special duty of a king was by rhythmical prayers† to Great Rongo to keep away evil-minded, spirits (pa tuarangi) that might injure the island. For this end the principal‡ king (te ariki pa‡ uta) lived in the interior, in the midst of abundance, in the sacred district of Keia. His prayers (karakia) were supposed to keep away bad spirits coming from the east. On the barren seashore, at O-Rongo, lived the secondary king (te ariki pa tai), who kept away bad spirits coming from the west. Besides page 635this primary ghostly function, many other important duties devolved upon these royal personages (see "Myths and Songs," page 293, &c.).
I derived the following information (under promise of secrecy) many years ago from my late valued friend, King Numangatini. These lists are the most accurate now obtainable; some points, however are disputed. The kingly office was hereditary; never-the-less the investiture rested with "the lord of Mangaia" for the time being. A father might be set aside in favour of his eldest son, or one brother in favour of another, for special reasons; but still it must be the same blood divine (as it was believed to be). The shore king was not unfrequently an illegitimate child of a great interior king. All kings were ex-officio high priests of Rongo (=ara pia o Rongo), tutelar god of Mangaia.
Succession of Kings defending the Interior (= Te au ariki pa uta).
|5.||Rua-ika I.||Fish-hole I. Slain by Ngauta, when for the first time "lord of Mangaia."|
|6.||Rau-ue||Gourd-leaf. Son of the shore king Vaerua-rau, The drum of peace for the last (seventh) "lordship" of Ngauta (enjoyed by Terea) was beaten by Rau-ue over the body of Inangaro.|
|7.||Poa-iti||Small-scale. Reigned in the days of Ngangati.|
|8.||Te-ao I.||Day I. Reigned in the days of Mautara.|
|9.||Rua-ika II.||Fish-hole II.|
|10.||Te-tipi||The cutting (i.e., slaughtering).|
|11.||Te-ao II.||Day II. Died a.d. 1829. Professed Christianity.|
|12.||Nu-manga-tini||Palm-of-many-branches (purely allegorical). Reigned from a.d. 1821 till his lamented death in 1878.|
|13.||Ioane Terego||John Trego, son of Numangatini|
|14.||Davida-iti||David-the-younger,grandson of Numangatini.|
|(Reign jointly now by will of the late king).|
Succession of Kings defending the Shore (= Te au ariki pa tai).
|1.||Tui||Sew. From Rarotonga.|
|2.||Tama-tapu||Sacred son. Son of preceding. Some say Te-pa = The-defender, who was born on "the sacred sandstone" (te kea inamoa).|
|3.||Vari||Beginning. Vari was sister to Te-pa.page 636|
|4.||Buanga||Budding (a female).|
|5.||Vaerua-rau||Two-hundred-spirits. Son of Buanga. His son, Rau-ue, was made principal (the sixth) king of Mangaia, Deified after his violent death.|
|6.||Oito||The-ancient. Slain and eaten by his hereditary foes in Mautara's time.|
|7.||Kai-au paku||Kingly-office-holder I. Also called Tuki-rangi = Sky-striker. Son of Oito.|
|9.||Kanune.||In the days of Mautara. Slain by Raumea.|
|10.||Te-ivi-rau||Two-hundred-bones (i.e., relatives). Drowned at sea when in chase of Paoa.|
|11.||Kai-au II.||Kingly-office-holder II.|
|12.||Numangatini.||Appointed shore-king by Pangemiro in a.d. 1814. When (in 1821) Teao was deposed, he became sole king of Mangaia. The final word and collective kingly authority were then vested by the conquering chiefs in Numangantini alone.|
In the incessant fighting of Ngauta's younger days the kingly family was almost exterminated by their hereditary enemies, i.e., the Teipe and Tongan tribes, then masters of the island. Only a royal female (Buanga) and her infant son (Vaeruarau) survived. Even Vaeruarau was eventually murdered at the suggestion (not by the hand) of Ngauta.
Even the shore-king, after he had been formally seated on the sacred sandstone at O-Rongo, was so sacred (tapu) in the estimation of the men of past generations that even "the lord of Mangaia" approached him, not without an offering, on all fours Yet, when the charm of peace had been broken by the wanton shedding of human blood, this sanctity (tapu) departed, and the shore-king went to his ancestral lands in the interior without any special reverence being paid to him. So sacred were the persons of the kings that no part of their bodies might be tattooed, nor could they take part in actual warfare.
I would earnestly warn all students of these pages of the danger of laying too great stress upon the meaning of these royal names. In mythology nothing is more important than the study of names, as showing how naturally the myth originated in the minds of "the wise men" of past ages; but in history (which this undoubtedly is) nothing can be more misleading.
As to the origin of the people, the universal tradition of the Hervey Islanders points to Avaiki (= Hawaiki, Hawaii, Savaiki, Savai'i) as the original home of their ancestors. Sometimes this region is called "the night" (te po), i.e., the place where the sun hides itself at night, or, in other words, "the west." Their ancestors are said to have "come up," i.e., to have sailed eastward. When a man died his spirit returned to Avaiki, i.e., the original home of their ancestors in the region of sunset.page 637
Owing probably to the hiding of their dead in deep caves, so numerous in these coral islands, Avaiki came to be conceived of as a vast hollow beneath them.
In Avaiki are many regions, bearing separate names, but all to be regarded as part of spirit-land. For example, spirits are said to travel to Manuka (= Manu'a), or Tutuila, or Upolu, or Vavau, or Tonga, or Iva, or Rotuma (= Rotumah), &c., &c., &c. The problem now is to determine whence the Samoans (i.e., the clan or family of Moa), sprang. This "Moa "is the hereditary king of the Samoans, his residence being always on "Tau," the largest of the three islets collectively designated "Manu'a."page breakpage breakpage breakpage breakpage break
† Of great antiquity.
‡ Also called "the praying king" (te ariki karakia).