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Mangaian Society



Although accretions from outside the tribes were of doubtful loyalty, there can be no question of the intense patriotism felt by the true tama tane members of the tribe. Tribes were distrustful of tama va'ine members, and it was considered by some a good preventive policy to kill such children before they grew up to become a menace. This policy was hinted at in the saying, " 'Angaingai a tama, te tama a te tua'ine." (Feed the first-born son, the first-born son of a sister.) The use of 'angaingai (to feed) is a euphemism to disguise the real import of the phrase, which advised that the child of a sister should be killed. Women of rank have sometimes stipulated that their children should not fight against their tribes in the event of war with their husbands' groups.

Motia, daughter of Te Uanuku, the first-born son of Mautara, married Rori, the fugtive craftsman who was restored by Manaune. She bore him many sons and made them promise never to fight against her tribe of Ngati-Vara. The tama tane claim, however, proved too strong, and they joined their father's group against the Ngati-Vara at the battle of Akaoro. Three were killed; their mother was so incensed against them that she did not weep, but cursed their memory.

A number of men have deliberately given themselves up to death as a propitiatory sacrifice to Rongo to ensure their tribe's success in battle. Tiroa, priest of Tane, did it to bring success to Panako. Kauate, a chief of the Ngariki, sought out a violent death to restore his tribe to power under Ngangati. Arokapiti of Ngati-Tane sacrificed himself in place of his younger brother to turn the tide of battle against Ngati-Vara.