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Mangaian Society

Priests and Chiefs

Priests and Chiefs

The hereditary titles were those of the two High Priests of Rongo, the Ruler of Food, and the tribal priests. An acquired title was that of Temporal Lord of Mangaia. Chiefs were also appointed to. rule over subdistricts (tapere) and districts (puna). Gill refers to the priests of Rongo as the "King defending the Interior'" and the "King defending the Shore." But as their functions were purely religious, the holders of the title may be more appropriately termed "high priests." Gill refers to the holder of the temporal power as Temporal Lord of Mangaia, which expresses the position, though he was more nearly a king than were the high priests.