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Mangaian Society

Reign of ths Akatauira

Reign of ths Akatauira

In his list of battles, Gill (12, p. 309) states that the tribe defeated at Kumekume was the Vaeruarangi under the chief Vete. The original Ngariki had by this time split into the three subdivisions, Ngariki, (Paparangi), Vaeruarangi, and Akatauira. Dissension had occurred among them, for some joined the Tongaiti against Ruaika. If the Ngariki and Vaeruarangi were grouped together as the people defeated at Kumekume, as Gill relates, Panako and his men must have belonged to the Akatauira division.

Gill lists (12, p. 309) One as Lord of Mangaia after the previous battle of Taaonga, but he does not allude to him in this office in his longer story concerning Panako. After the Kumekume battle, One and Panako were grouped together as victors, but One evidently allowed the official title of Lord of Mangaia to go to Panako. He probably felt that it was more correct for the title to be held by one who came of the original Ngariki stock.

Two more battles are listed as occurring during the Akatauira period of supremacy. The fourteenth battle was fought at Kouramaiti in Veitatei. The tribe causing trouble was Te-kama under the chief Mokora. The Te-kama tribe, supposedly almost annihilated at the eighth battle of Areutu, had evidently resuscitated. They were defeated by One, and the official rank of Lord of Mangaia was retained by Panako.

The defeated Te-kama rallied under the chief Kotaa and fought the fifteenth battle at Te-papa in Veitatei. One was victorious and Panako retained the title of Lord of Mangaia a third time. From Gill's account (12, p. 130), it appears that a section of the Tongaiti tribe under Tauai and Te-page 50karaka had been involved in the plot to secure the supreme chieftainship. It is stated that Tauai and Te-karaka were exiled by Aeru, a chief of the Vaeruarangi division of Ngariki. It is difficult to reconcile this possession of power with the previous statements describing the defeat of the Vaeruarangi by One and Panako at the thirteenth battle of Kumekume. However, Aeru consulted Paeke, who had succeeded his father, Te Rau, and become fourth priest of Motoro. Paeke, speaking oracularly for Motoro, recommended that the plotters be exiled and not slain. Tauai and Te-karaka with their families and adherents set off in two double canoes duly provisioned. Gill (12, p. 131) associates the Mangaian Te-karaka with a man of the same name mentioned in New Zealand tradition and thus deduces that the exiles safely reached the North Island of New Zealand. From their contemporary, Paeke, priest of Motoro, to 1900 is 13 generations (Table 3). I do not know of any canoes that landed in New Zealand thirteen generations ago.

The Tongaiti chief, One, won the three battles fought after his first battle against Ruaika, but he was magnanimous enough to allow the office of supreme chieftainship to be held by his ally, Panako, who was descended from the older Ngariki tribe. When the last battle of Te-papa took place, Paeke had succeeded his father Te Rau and become the fourth priest of Motoro.