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Mangaian Society



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.

Inland High Priest

The High Priest of Rongo who officiated on the inland marae was termed the ariki-pa-uta (high-chief-guarding-the-interior). The term pa-uta applies to his supposed function of guarding (pa) the island, by means of chants, from evil spirits that approached from the east. The marae where he officiated was inland (uta), as contrasted with that of the other high priest, which was on the western shore (tai). The list of priests who held the office is given by Gill (12, pp. 315, 316) as follows:

1.Rangi: senior of first three Ngariki chiefs.
2.Te-akatauira ariki.
5.Rua-ika I: slain by Ngauta in battle.page 113
6.Rau-'ue: son of Vaeruarau the 5th shore high priest.
7.Poa-iti: contemporary of Ngarigati.
8.Te-ao I: contemporary of Mautara.
9.Rua-ika II: held office when Cook visited Mangaia (1777).
11.Te-ao II: deposed by Pangemiro, died 1829.
12.Nu-manga-tini: accepted Christianity.

The title of Inland High Priest commenced with Rangi at the beginning of settlement. The second priest was probably Rangi's brother. The third is said to have been another brother. If so, the title originally passed to three brothers and then descended in the Akatauira tribe, probably from father to son when possible.

The first priest, Rangi, must have installed himself. Later installations were made by the Temporal Lord of Mangaia, who seated the newly inducted priest on the sacred block of sandstone (ke'a) placed in the coastal marae of Orongo. The installation made the officeholder one of the two official priests of Rongo (pi'a atua no Rongo). In preparation for this office, the priest was taught the incantations (karakia) that had been originally given by Rongo to Te Akatauira. His main duties were in connection with the sacrifices to Rongo, which took their most complicated form in the sacrifice after a victory:

The conqueror consulted the Inland High Priest, who indicated the person to be sacrificed (akakite ko ai te ika) and girded the warriors with the sacred girdle of Rongo when they went out to secure the victim. As the paths to the valleys led over the central raised plateau, the girdle or girdles were put on when the war party reached the central mountain of Rangimotia. The sacrificial marae was Akaoro in the Keia district. The sacrifice (ika, "fish") was first brought to Akaoro, and the Inland High Priest performed the ritual and recited the appropriate incantations. The concluding part of the ceremony was performed at the shore marae of Orongo by his brother high priest. After the ceremony at Orongo, the Inland High Priest ordered the drum of peace to be sounded ('akatangi i te pa'u). Only the high priest could order the sounding of the official drum (pa'u) specially made for the occasion.

The observance of the proper ritual placated Rongo and made the reign of the Temporal Lord a successful one. The refusal of the high priest to conduct the ritual led to the venting of Rongo's anger upon the land. The slaying of people went on, the land was not legally redistributed, and famine followed. The power of the high priests was thus considerable. Gill (6, p. 293) states, "So sacred were their royal persons that no part of their bodies might be tattooed; they could not take part in dances or in actual warfare."

The sanctity of the high priest held so long as he restricted himself to his religious duties. If he interfered too much in temporal matters, he forfeited the immunity otherwise enjoyed. Rua-ika, the fifth high priest, was also ariki of the Akatauira tribe. He defeated the Tongaiti tribe under Tirango at the battle of Vaikakau but gave the temporal lordship to Tenau. He was page 114defeated at the battle of Taaonga by the Tongaiti under One, and again by the Tongaiti at Te-rua-kere-tonga and killed by Ngauta. His sanctity of office did not save his life.

The high priests were supposed to be neutral in the wars that took place and to be willing to perform the ritual to Rongo for the conqueror, no matter what his tribe. On occasion, however, they took political sides. The temporal power of a high priest was no more than that of an ordinary chief.

The high priest also officiated at the installation or raising ('ikianga) of the Ruler of Food.

Though the title of high priest ran in direct succession from father to son, the Temporal Lord acquired such power that he could influence the succession by having it bestowed upon some other member of the family. When Pangemiro deposed Te-ao, he bestowed the title on Numangatini, who at the time was holding the lesser title of Shore High Priest.

The high priest was rewarded for his services with liberal grants of land by the Temporal Lord. He also received official shares of food at public feasts, besides presents of food on ordinary occasions.

The Shore High Priest

The second priest of Rongo received the title of ariki pa tai. He was the defence on the coast (pa tai) from the spirits that came from the west. The list of Shore High Priests is given by Gill (12, pp. 316, 317) as follows:

1.Tui: from Rarotonga.
2.Tamatapu: son of Tui (some say that Te-pa held the office).
3.Vari, f.: a female, sister of Te-pa.
4.Puanga, f.: a female.
5.Vaeruarau: son of Puanga; killed by order of Ngauta; deified; his son Rau-ue was made Inland High Priest.
6.Ito: slain and eaten by hereditary foes in Mautara's time.
7.Kaiau-paku: son of Ito.
8.Te-nio-pakari: son of Ito.
9.Kanune: son of Te-nio-pakari, slain by Raumea.
10.Te-akatauira: son of Kanune.
11.Te-ivirau: drowned at sea.
12.Kaiau II.
13.Numangatini: grandson of Te-ivirau.

The first holder, Tui, was from Rarotonga. Some strong reason must have caused Rangi to give the second priestly office of the Ngariki tribe to an outsider. Tui married a woman of the Tui-kura tribe. He was evidently an isolated person without a tribe, for his son Tamatapu, who succeeded him, went to his mother's tribe to avenge an insult offered him. The Rarotongan succession ended with Tamatapu, for the office evidently went to Te-pa who belonged to the Ngariki. The office was apparently in a somewhat unstable condition, for it passed next to a female in the person of Vari, a sister of page 115Te-pa, and later to another female, Puanga, who probably belonged to the family of Te-pa. It is difficult to reconcile a woman with the position of high priest. Gill confuses the issue in his account of the installation of Vaeruarau. Through the constant fighting in Ngauta's younger days, the priestly family had become exterminated with the exception of Puanga and her infant son, Vaeruarau. At the cessation of war, it was decided to install Vaeruarau and celebrate the occasion with a great feast. Gill (12, p. 86) states:

Every preparation for the feast was completed; all the great men of the time were waiting; but who should perform the necessary karakia or "prayers"? Buanga [Puanga], the mother of the infant king, could not, being disqualified by her sex, though well versed in these "prayers". The baby king Vaeruarau was too young to learn. Not a creature else on the island was eligible to perform such sacred functions. What was to be done? A happy thought struck the mother. Though her child, high priest of the gods, was too young to perform the accustomed prayers, he was not too young to cry! She therefore gave the young king a smart blow on the back, causing him to cry lustily. This was enough; the royal voice had sounded in the hearing of the gods, although not quite in the right way! It was to be accepted in the place of the "prayers" of "grace"; and of course the feast was immediately proceeded with to the satisfaction of all parties.

Puanga has been put in the list of succession as the fourth high priest. Yet in the installation of her son, she could not recite the ritual on the marae because of her sex. Evidently neither Puanga nor Vari could have officiated on the marate of Rongo as high priestesses. They have been included in the list of succession by the native historians because the succession came through them and they had had the correct ritual taught them in order to transmit it. The teaching of sacred ritual to women shows one of the methods a family took to safeguard its immaterial property. Matrilineal succession of Vaeruarau was caused by the fact that all other male members of Puanga's family had been killed. It is not stated what relation Ito, the sixth priest, held to his predecessor, but after him the succession went in the male line:

Te-nio-pakari succeeded his elder brother, probably because his elder brother's son, if he had one, was too young to succeed his father. The reason for this supposition is that Mautara instructed his two eldest sons to select Kanune as a high priest to sound the drum of Rongo after their future victories. If Kaiau-paku had had no children Kanune would have been the page 116rightful successor and Mautara would not have needed to use such selective power.

The relationship of Te-ivirau to his predecessor is not clear, but his pedigree on the Ngati-Vara side is as follows:

On his mother's side, Te-ivirau belonged to Ngati-Vara, so that the office of high priest came through his father, Areturu. The twelfth high priest, Kaiau II, was probably the Pai who seized the temporal lordship from his brother, Kirikovi. After his death the office reverted to the family of Teivirau and went to his daughter's son, Numangatini. I do not know why it did not go to his sons or their families, but it is probable that Pangemiro, the Temporal Lord of that time, used his selective powers. Gill (12, p. 315) states that some of the shore kings were natural sons of great interior kings, but gives no examples. On the other hand, Rauue, the sixth Inland High Priest, was the son of Vaeruarau, the fifth Shore High Priest.

The Shore High Priest officiated on the great marae of Orongo on the coast:

The human sacrifice was brought to Orongo after being exposed at Akaoro, and the Shore High Priest completed the ceremonial. He cut off the ears and nose of the victim and divided them into pieces for distribution among the new officials created by the victory which the ceremony celebrated.

He seems also to have assisted the Temporal Lord on occasions.

Vaeruarau lived inland near Ngauta and had his own small marae named Ariana where he kept his shell trumpet. On a night when Ngauta decided to destroy a party of fishermen for an insult offered to one of his tribe, Vaeruarau summoned the warriors by blowing his shell trumpet. He then accompanied Ngauta and on the central hill of Rangimoto adjusted on each warrior the girdle sacred to Rongo.

The Shore High Priest ranked second to the Inland High Priest. While exercising his office, his person was extremely sacred. Gill (12, p. 317) records that on the sacred marae of Orongo, "even 'the Temporal Lord of page 117Mangaia' approached him, after his attendants had deposited his offering, crawling on all fours !" When war broke out, however, the power of the warrior became supreme, and the sacred nature of his office did not protect the Shore High Priest's life if he interfered in temporal matters.

Though Vaeruarau was useful to the Temporal Lord Ngauta in his early days, later Ngauta ordered his death. His successor, Ito, was not only slain but was eaten by his hereditary foes. Kanune entered into politics when he assisted Mautara's sons in killing the Temporal Lord, Akatara, and his party at a feast. Kanune boasted of his prowess to Raumea, and later Raumea killed him because he recognized that Kanune was likely to become a source of trouble in temporal affairs. The gods avenged his death but seem to have taken no notice of the deaths of Vaeruarau and Ito.

The Shore High Priest was rewarded with gifts of subdistricts of land which were confirmed or added to by the various Temporal Lords in recognition of the priests' services on the marae of Orongo in connection with their accession to power. The Shore High Priest was also recognized as having a special right over all turtles caught, and he received the special portion including the head and neck termed te ua 0 te 'onu. This right dated back to early times as shown by the story of Tamatapu, the second priest, who caused a whole party of Ngati-Tane fishermen to be annihilated because he heard two turtle-bearers speak disparagingly of him.

Gill (12, p. 379) gives the story of Numangatini's installation as Shore High Priest in about 1814, as follows:

The morning star had just appeared, when the loud call E tama—"O sir!" aroused him. Coming outside he found Tamaine and Vaipo, deputed by "the Lord of Mangaia" as representing the victors. Two curiously plaited coconut leaves were placed on the ground; he was desired to plant his feet on them. His legs were then carefully anointed with scented coconut oil. Then the sacred girdle (maro aitu) was adjusted by them on his person. Six stout white garments (tikoru), beaten out from the inner bark of the Broussonetia papyrifera, were next placed on his shoulders. Finally these vestments were removed and hidden in a sacred cave. This was the secret ceremony. The public installation of the new king took place a day or two later. He was on this occasion formally seated by the Temporal Lord, in the presence of the leading under-chiefs, upon "the sacred sandstone" in Rongo's marae on the seashore, facing the setting sun.

The Ruler of Food

The full title of the Ruler of Food is te ariki i te ua i te tapora kai (the high chief presiding at the head of the food baskets). Gill translates the title freely as "Ruler of Food", which suits the office. In the distribution of authority among his three sons, Rongo gave the authority over food to Mokoiro. In the following list by Gill (12, p. 314), Mokoiro figures as the first Ruler of Food:

1.Mokoiro I: from Avaiki.
2.Mokoiro II: son of Mokoiro I.
5.Kaoa I: drowned at Te-rua-ava-roa.page 118
6.Namu I: slain by Ngauta.
7.Kaoa II: slain by Ngangati at Te-au-papa.
9.Namu II: son of Motau; friend of Mautara; slain by Potai.
10.Kaoa III: held office during Potiki's rule.
12.Mauri: visited by Rev. John Williams in 1829, died soon after.

As the Vaeruarangi tribe descended from Vaeruarangi, a son of Mokoiro, it is evident that Mokoiro II must have been a brother of or another name for Vaeruarangi, the office of Ruler of Food went by succession in the Vaeruarangi tribe. My informant Akaeakore, however, maintained that Mokoiro I was a son of Te-akatauira. Gill (12, p. 310) definitely states that Kaoa, shown in the list as the seventh Ruler of Food, was defeated with his Vaeruarangi tribe by Ngangati at the battle of Te-au-papa. This supports the contention that the office passed in succession in the Vaeruarangi division of Ngariki.

The maraes of Rangi-taua in the Keia district and Mau-kiore in Tavaenga are attributed to Mokoiro I, and those of Mamara-atua in Tavaenga and Tavaenga-nui in Tamarua to Mokoiro II. Amu, the third ruler, was evidently the leader of the warriors who defeated the invading Aitutakians at the battle of Iotepui (12, p. 308). The Rulers of Food thus fought with their own tribe when necessary and thereby made themselves obnoxious to the enemy. Three holders of the title were killed.

The office was hereditary like those of the high priests of Rongo and could not be acquired by another tribe. Thus when Namu II was a fugitive from his enemies, Mautara sent for him to perform the duties associated with his office during Mautara's period of rule. Mautara rewarded him by giving him authority over three subdistricts.

The fertility of the land and trees was held to depend on the distribution of the portions of the human sacrifice divided among the ruling chiefs at the ceremony held on the Orongo marae. In olden times the Ruler of Food had some influence as to the imposing of closed seasons (ra'ui) over districts and fishing grounds in order to let depleted food supplies recover. In times of peace, he exercised a ceremonial control over the distribution of food at public feasts. The food was really divided into the required allotments by the local chiefs responsible for the feast, and the public calling of the shares was then made by the Ruler of Food. He was versed in the correct ceremonial and order of precedence for such occasions. The chief who placed the food in the required heaps acted as his hands, but the voice remained with the official Ruler of Food. The correct observance of ceremonial added to the importance of the feast and was associated with continued prosperity. The, hereditary title was treated with great respect during peace, and even the change in Temporal Lords did not affect the position so long as the office-page 119holder and his tribe were not involved in war. During war times the Ruler of Food superintended the provisioning of the troops of his own tribe.

Priests of the; Tribal Gods

The power of the priests of the tribal gods was confined solely within the tribe which served the particular god. Conquering tribes seem to have taken a particular interest in killing the priest of the defeated tribe as an offering to Rongo.

Of 9 priests of Tane, no less than 5 were killed and offered in sacrifice to Rongo; a sixth, Te-vaki, was saved from a similar fate only through the power of Mautara. The Ngariki never forgave the Ngati-Tane priesthood for having filled their marae of Maputu with human heads largely obtained from the Ngariki tribe. The priests of Turanga, the god of the Tongaiti tribe, escaped more lightly, for out of twelve priests only two were killed and two banished.

The Ngariki had to spare the priests of Motoro, the tribal god to whom their children were dedicated at the cutting of the navel cord, in order to remain in touch with the god. Early in history, the Ngariki evidently had cause to be inimical to the family of Vara, the second priest of Motoro. Yet they could not kill Vara. They vented their spite by killing all Vara's sons except the eldest, Te-rau. The life of Te-rau was spared in order that the succession of priests might continue. Mautara, the sixth priest, made war against his employers, the Ngariki. He went into battle, however, with a fan only, as no Ngariki would kill him. In the subsequent wars of the Ngati-Vara, no Ngariki laid hands on the acting priest of Motoro. The Tongaiti tribe slew two priests of Motoro, as Motoro was not their god.

The priesthoods passed from father to son but not necessarily to the eldest son. When there was no direct male issue, succession followed on the female side.

The functions of the priests were to conduct the ceremonial on the tribal marae and to consult the tribal god concerning matters of tribal importance. The priest was the pi'a (receptacle) which the god entered when required. The god made his wishes known through the voice of the priest. Unswerving obedience to the god's commands gave the priests great power and made them the last court of appeal in deciding knotty problems with regard to war and tribal politics. The priests, who were the scholars and men of learning, were wise enough to follow the feelings and desires of their group when making known the wishes of the gods.

Some priests used the voice of the god to further their own personal ends. Through using the voice of Motoro, both Mautara and Te-vaki obtained revenge. The high priest of Rongo could vent a personal spite by indicating the person he hated as a human sacrifice to Rongo.

The voice of the god was used for humane purposes as well. Mautara and Paeke used Motoro's voice to save defeated Tongaiti from extinction by exiling them. Some priests protected people from death by secreting them in the curtained chamber of the house set apart for the second image of their page 120god. Curiously enough, the men recorded as so saved were priests of other gods.

Namu, the Ruler of Food, was concealed for a month by his father-in-law in the chamber where his god Teipe was kept. The Teipe tribe had determined on the death of Namu. Their hatred was so great that the warriors invaded the sacred chamber; but Namu, through a timely warning, had fled.

Mautara similarly concealed Te-vaki, and though the enemy knew of Te-vaki's place of concealment they dared not invade the chamber. They set up a guard around the house. Had Te-vaki quitted his place of refuge for an instant he would have been slain. Mautara's curtained chamber (pa tikoru) was so sacred that Te-vaki remained there for a whole year, when the defeat of his enemies in battle allowed him to emerge in safety.

The priests also had power in influencing the succession of chieftainship. When the direct blood heir was unsuitable, the tribal god might declare that he resided in a junior member of the family.

The succession lists of the priests of only three tribal gods, Motoro, Tane, and Turanga, have been recorded, but all the other gods had their priests.

From the genealogical table of the Ngati-Vara is taken the following list of the priests of Motoro:

page 121

The succession of priests of Motoro remained patrilineal throughout. It went to only sons of the first six generations with the exception of Te-rau, who was the eldest of five sons and was spared because of his primogeniture. Ngara, the seventh priest, was the youngest of eight sons. Though Ngara had sons, the office passed to his nephew, Te-ka. From Te-ka, it passed to a second cousin, Makitaka. Gill's statement (12, p. 312) that succession was from father to son is thus inaccurate. Tereavai was priest of Te-aio, who had become accepted by the Ngati-Vara as their god in place of Tane. When Makitaka died, Christianity had made headway, and Tereavai was never installed as priest of Motoro, though he would have succeeded to the position under normal conditions. After putting up a last fight to regain the temporal supremacy for the Ngai-Vara, Tereavai forsook Te-aio for Christianity and became a deacon in the church.

The temporal lordship was held by three priests of Motoro, namely, Mau-tara, Ngara, and Makitaka.

The priests of Motoro occupied the unique position of being the medium between a god they did not worship arid a tribe with which they were at enmity. They claimed precedence over the priests of other tribal gods.

Gill (12, pp. 312, 313) lists the priests of Tane as follows:

1.Turuia: from Tahiti, slain by Tamatapu's warriors; laid on marae of Rongo.
3.Matariki: sacrificed to Rongo at Ariki.
4.Tiora: sacrificed to Rongo at Ariki.
5.Te-punga: sacrificed to Rongo by Tuanui; cooked head sent to Mautara.
6.Te-vaki: sole survivor of Ngati-Tane; saved by Mautara.
7.Taeimua (Kakari)
9.Pange-ivi ('Erema'a): died in 1830, a Christian.

The first five priests of Tane were worshipers of Tane-ngaki-au, after whom allegiance was transferred to Tane-i-te-ata, also called Tane-kio. The succession is termed "te ara pi'a o Tane."

The priests of Turanga, worshiped by the Tongaiti, are given by Gill (12, p. 313) as follows:

1.Te-ao: navigator of the original Tongaiti canoe which arrived in the time of Rangi.
2.Tama-keu: time of Te-akatauira.
3.Ivi: time of Vaeruarangi.
4.Tirango: killed at Angamoa.
5.Tamangaro: exiled from island.
7.Ngangaru: killed by Ngangati at Tamarua.
8.Parae (Para'i ?): helped to turn battle of Aua in Mautara's favor; a wise man.
9.Tea (also Poa)
11.Maueue: died in 1828 without changing faith.

The succession of priests of Turanga was termed "te ara pi'a o Tongaiti." Pati, not given in the above list, was also a priest of the Tongaiti tribe, page 122but he probably belonged to the subtribe of Teaaki, which was exiled. Keu, who saved Namu, was a priest of Teipe.

Temporal Lord

The supreme temporal power (mangaia) was held, not by a hereditary successor, but by the leader supreme on the field of battle who became what Gill (12, p. 308) terms "victor and consequent real 'Lord of Mangaia.'" When the victorious party was not dominated by one personality the leading warriors decided which of them should hold the position of Temporal Lord.

The installation of the Lord of Mangaia was preceded by six distinct processions around the island by the victorious party which are described by Gill (6, pp. 294, 295) substantially as follows:

In the first procession the victorious party went fully armed to assert their supremacy and challenge opposition. Anyone, regardless of age or sex, who crossed their path, was killed. The subsequent processions were peaceful and intended to demonstrate that peace was about to dawn oil the land. At the end of one circuit, a number of second-rate wooden weapons, modeled after the various types in use, were broken against the trunk of a large chestnut tree growing near the inland marae of Akaoro. The breaking of spears denoted the ending of war. During another circuit, all the principal maraes of the island were visited and a forked stick (toko) was set up in each. This signified that the principal chiefs of each district would act as a toko (support) of the new rule. Small houses, termed 'are ei 'au (house for conserving peace), about 6 feet long, were erected on all the maraes. The gods were thus provided with a well-thatched house which shut out wind and rain, signifying war and bloodshed. All the tribal gods having been pacified, the great national god of war, Rongo, remained to be propitiated with a human sacrifice.

The human sacrifice (p. 179) was exposed first on the inland marae of Akaoro and later taken to the shore marae of Orongo.

The Shore High Priest cut off the ears of the victim with a bamboo knife. The right ear represented the land districts on the right or southern side of the island. It was cut up into sections representing each subdistrict on that side. The left ear, representing the left or northern side of the island, was dealt with similarly. The priest asked who held the mangaia and the person agreed upon stood up, saying, "Ei aku te mangaia" (I have the mangaia). The appointment was confirmed by the silence of the assembled chiefs. The Temporal Lord sat down without receiving any portion of the ears. The names of the district and subdistrict chiefs were then called in order, commencing with the head of the fish of Rongo on the right (Tamarua) and ending with the head of the fish of Rongo on the left (Ivirua). The order was the same as in the ceremonial distribution of food (p. 139) Each of the chiefs so named then received a portion of the ears, wrapped in a ti leaf according to Gill (6, p. 297), but according to my informants pinned to a tamanu leaf. The Temporal Lord, whose name was called out again as head of a land district, received a share in that capacity and was served first. The portions of the human sacrifice to Rongo formed the letters patent to office. The pieces were deposited on the various tribal maraes and later buried in the subdistricts they represented.

The presentation of the piece of human ears was followed by a feast to the warriors and chiefs. At this feast the Ruler of Food presided and the. shares were called in ceremonial order.

page 123

The drum of peace was then sounded by the official drummer, whose position was hereditary. His relations assisted in increasing the volume of sound by playing on smaller drums. The high priests of Rongo headed a procession and recited an incantation for peace. At certain parts, the male members of the priestly families joined in a chorus while the drums kept time. A seventh circuit of the island was made, the ceremonies being repeated at the maraes in each district. The drum of peace announced that the rule of the Temporal Lord was properly inaugurated and all fugitives in hiding could emerge in safety. After the sounding of the drum, no blood was to be shed.

On the termination of a campaign the lands of the conquered were forfeited to the victors. The Temporal Lord was thus enabled to reward the leading warriors who had supported him by giving them positions of authority over districts and subdistricts. The position of Temporal Lord carried no land with it. In order to share in the material benefits of conquest, the Temporal Lord took authority over a district and subdistrict as well. In the earlier period of Mangaian society the conquerors simply took the lands of the conquered. The development of ceremonial, however, necessitated the public naming of the various officeholders during the installation of the Temporal Lord on the marae. It is probable, therefore, that powerful chiefs of neutral tribes who had not been involved in a war were not disturbed in their territorial holdings, but were confirmed in them at the marae ceremony. Owing to the practical extinction of the Tongaiti and its subtribes and the loss of influence of the Ngariki, Pangemiro, by defeating the Ngata-Vara, was able to award all the district and subdistrict positions to the combined tribes of Manaune and Ngati-Tane.

Gill (12, p. 376) states that after the accession of a new chief the wise men ('are korero) charged him to rule well. Two of the phrases used are: "Aua ei vu'u te rango" (Let not the flies [the serfs] be swept away), and "Aua ei nga'ae te rauika" (Let not the banana be split). The banana leaf symbolized the state, which was not to be rent by internal discord.

Mautara's reign as Temporal Lord (te 'au 0 Mautara) of about 25 years is the longest on record. The reign of Potiki was 20 years, but most of the reigns were comparatively short. Gill (6, p. 300) states that the coral tree (Erythrina coralodendron), which has blood-red flowers, was planted in the valleys in token of peace. Coconut trees were also planted. It is stated that the only Temporal Lords under whom peace lasted long enough for the planted coconuts to bear were Tuanui, Mautara, Ngara, Potiki, and Pangemiro.

The Temporal Lord made a visit of state to any district where trouble was brewing. After the feast in his honor, he exhorted the local chief to page 124support his rule by preserving peace. He asked them to prop up his rule, not with rotten sticks, but with ironwood. Referring to the coconuts he had planted, he begged them to let the coconut palms grow tall and not to fell them. The tall palm, which bore fruit, symbolized a long reign of peace (12, p. 376). The maintenance of peace was of paramount importance to the ruling Temporal Lord, for with the shedding of blood his reign automatically ended.

District and Subdistrict Chiefs

During the reign of Pangemiro the island divided into six districts (puna). At the installation of the Temporal Lord, the district chiefs (pava) were appointed from among the successful warriors. The recognition that the position came through prowess in battle is shown by two phrases referring to the right of the pava to his position, "va'arua taiki" (hole made by a taiki weapon), and "ara to'anga," which literally means "the path by which the position came," but which my informants translated as "a scar from battle." Of the district of Vaitatei it was said, "No Motu'anga te va'arua (Motuanga had the spear wound), and of Keia, "No Muraa'i te ara to'anga" (Muraai had the scar). Thus Motuanga and Muraai, both adopted into Ngati-Tane on their tama-vahine (mothers') side, received distinct chieftainship through wounds and scars, either figurative or actual, obtained in fighting on the Ngati-Tane side in the battle against the Ngati-Vara.

The districts were divided up into five to ten subdistricts (tapere), each of which was ruled over by a subdistrict chief. There was no area of land specifically associated with the office of pava. Theoretically, the Temporal Lord selected the six pava, and each pava selected the chiefs to rule over the subdistricts under him. As he selected from his own relations, it was his wound (va'arua) or scar (ara to'anga) that gave to the subdistrict chiefs their right to authority. The pava, however, usually took control of one of the subdistricts and named himself in connection with it.

Each subdistrict had its name and was governed by a chief, whose title, kairanga-nuku (kairanga, "eating"; nuku, "land"), signified that the chief ate of the produce of the land in the subdistrict and also that the people ate through him. He saw to the distribution of the taro lands within the subdistrict. When he took office, he evicted the members of defeated tribes and relegated them to the uplands or the makatea. He might exercise compassion by leaving the conquered certain portions in the taro lands. He helped to readjust distribution on the death of landholders and settled disputes with regard to lands. An injured person could appeal to the pava.

The kairanga-nuku are now referred to as the 'ui rangatira (assembly of chiefs) of the pava. The pava and his 'id rangatira meet to settle disputes page 125regarding land and other matters of district importance. They are responsible for the policy of the district. The chiefly assembly of the Veitatei puna, with six tapere, is called nga ono o Veitatei (the six of Veitatei). This refers to the six kairanga-nuku, one of whom is the pava.

Chief of the Makatea

A curious position, Chief of the Makatea, was created in the time of Atatoa.

According to the Ngati-Vara version, Atatoa, after being mortally wounded by a section of Ngati-Vara under Kaunio, was succored by another section of Ngati-Vara, though too late to save his life. Atatoa was a high chief of the Keia district. To requite the assistance of the friendly section of Ngati-Vara, Atatoa on his deathbed gave one of them, Kapua, the authority over the makatea of the Keia district. This action was followed by Veitatei and other districts so that all the makatea surrounding Mangaia was placed under Kapua, making him the Chief of the Makatea (te ariki o te makatea).

The office descended in the Ngati-Vara, who by the last battles fought on Mangaia became associated with the makatea without hope of regaining chieftainship over the puna lands. The position was subsequently held by Mamae and passed to his son Aiteina, who retains a share of Ngati-Vara land in the district of Veitatei. In connection with this district, Aiteina has a special share of food at feasts and the official call is "Te 'ui rangatira no Ka'u-mata!" (The assembly of chiefs from Kau-mata!) He has no tapere in the district, but the land over which he rules is the makatea and the mountain, the land of the conquered. He holds the office given to Kapua, but the relationship between Kapua and Kau-mata was not made clear to me.