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Mangaian Society

War Eva

War Eva

The war dirge (eva puruki) was rendered by two large parties formed up in line facing each other and about 8o yards apart. They were armed with weapons made of light wood (orotea). Gill (6, p. 272) states that an animated conversation took place between the two leaders as to the cause of the assumed war. The nearest of kin to the deceased then commenced a solo page 195relating to the heroic deeds of the tribe. The chorus was taken up by both war parties and swelled into deep volume. At appropriate places, the chorus was accentuated by the clashing of weapons and a war dance carried on with all the semblance of a real battle. Other songs were introduced by the solo and were followed by the chorus of both companies. The eva puruki were carefully composed and embodied a great deal of history. Gill (12, p. 97) records the war dirge for Tuopapa which alludes to the final defeat of the Teipe tribe at the battle of Ikuari. The dirge describes the battle, the crash of weapons, and the slaying of men. The end describes the fate of the defeated.

Tera oa na kai-tamua a Tutavake. There are the first fruits of Tutavake.
Oi atu korua, e a'u taeake, ia atea. Move on, O my friends, make way.
Oi tika; oi atu. Move right; move on.
Tauma'a i te uru i te tokotoko ei vaerua toa, Recite a spell over your weapon to get a warlike spirit,
Ei momotu i te mokotua o Tong'aiti. To break the backbone of the Tongaiti tribe.
Piritoa, piritoa, piritoa. Crash, crash, crash.
Tueru'atu e Rongo, Scatter them, O Rongo,
Ia tu a papa tavake i te kopunga ra, That they appear as a flock of tropic birds in the west,
I te avatea; oi mate i'o, oi ora atu! In the daylight; some die, some live!
Ka 'ao Tutavake i ora ake. Tutavake makes serfs of those who live.