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Mangaian Society



In Mangaia the early tribes settled in definite localities and for a time kept together. Apart from historical narrative, their localities are indicated by the maraes they built to their tribal gods (p. 175).

The Ngariki evidently spread over the northern, western, and southwestern parts of the island. They built the Ivanui marae to Rongo in the Ivanui district but later abandoned it and built the marae of Orongo on the west coast in the Tavaenga district near the boundary with Keia. Their marae of Araata to their tribal god Motoro was built in Keia, and the Akaoro marae presided over by the Inland High Priest was close beside Araata. With the increase of other tribes, they evidently withdrew from the Ivirua and Karanga districts and concentrated in the Tavaenga, Keia, and Veitatei districts. It appears that the Akatauira were in Tavaenga, the Paparangi in Keia, and the Vaeruarangi in Veitatei.

The Tongaiti tribe landed in the south and occupied the Tamarua district. Their principal marae was Aumoana, situated close to the inner side of the makatea not far from the present church at Tamarua. The cave of Tautua, which formed the refuge of the tribe after defeat, is also situated in the Tamarua district.

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The Ngati-Tane landed on the east and occupied the Ivirua district. Their first two maraes, Taumatini and Maputu, are in the northern part of the district and close to the original Ngariki marae, Ivanui. The reason given for the abandoning of the Ivanui marae was that, as the sun was too hot on Rongo's back, the marae of. Orongo was made on the west. It is probable that the arrival of the Ngati-Tane in the Ivirua district caused the scattered outposts of the Ngariki to withdraw toward the west to avoid being picked off. The scattered family groups were killed later by the Ngati-Tane to furnish the filling for the Maputu marae. When the priest Ue landed on the east, he found all the land in the Ivirua district occupied and had to push on toward the south, where he built the marae of Maungaroa just across the boundary with Tamarua.

The Te Kama tribe also landed on the east, but they worked north beyond the part occupied by Ngati-Tane and pushed into the Karanga district on the northeast, forming a wedge between Ngati-Tane and the Ngariki living in the Tavaenga district. After their first unsuccessful bid for power and subsequent minor attempts, they ceased to exist as a distinct tribe.

The Ngati-Vara developed in the Veitatei district. Vara, the son of Papaaunuku, lived in Veitatei and his sons were attacked at Tangikura in that district. Koroa, in a song referring to the family of Mautara, speaks of the growth of a tribe in the valley of Raupo and of the men of Te Tuapoto who brought it to affluence. Te Tuapoto is a tapere (subdistrict) in Veitatei. The marae at which Potiki and Koroa worshiped Te-aio was Takti in the Veitatei subdistrict of Te Tukono, for which Te Tuaroa is another name. The two ancestral tapere of the Ngati-Vara are Te Tuapoto and Te Tekono in the Veitatei district, and the Ngati-Vara also had authority over the tapere of Te Noki. With their rise to power, the Ngati-Vara increased their land holdings. Mautara lived part of his time in the Keia district. The family meeting of the Ngati-Vara before the death of Rautoa took place on the marae of Are-una in the Ngaangarino subdistrict of Veitatei. When the Ngati-Vara practically exterminated the Tongaiti, they spread their boundaries into the Tamarua district. After their defeat by the combined Ngati-Tane and Manaune, they concentrated in the Tamarua district and fought their last battle at Putoa in that district.

The Manaune tribe developed in Karanga and the neighboring part of Ivirua. It is evident that Mautara must have given some subdistricts to Manaune in that area. Pangemiro, the Manaune leader who became the last Temporal Lord of Mangaia, had his two maraes, Te-ra-tui-vero and Are-vaka, in the Karanga district.

Of the other smaller tribes which became extinct, there is lack of detail as to their territory, except that the Tangiia or Kanae tribe lived near Lake Tiriara in the Veitatei district and that their marae was Rangitaua.

The tribes originally occupied definite continuous areas, but the subsequent wars led to a break in the continuity of the areas occupied. The conquerors, in annexing food lands from the conquered, took subdistricts which were remote from their original lands. The food lands and the rule over districts and subdistricts were the important spoils of victory. The redistribution of food lands led to the scattering of tribes; some families remained on the original land, but others settled on land awarded them in other districts. The tribe was nevertheless held together by the social mechanism which decided the grouping of individuals at birth and by the necessity for protection against other tribes.

Other territorial complications were brought about through the giving of presents of land by conquerors to friends of other tribes. Mautara gave land to Manaune in another district, and the Maunaune tribe grew up there. page 108Mautara gave presents of land to Te-vaki in a district other than Ivirua, with the result that the reborn Ngati-Tane grew up in districts other than their original home.