Saturday, January 14, 2012

Torangi and Hinewai (Ahu No 34)



The continuing story of Ahu and Ahuahu her husband in a Maori village in Aotearoa before European settlement of New Zealand.



Once again Hinewai, Hatiti’s sister was the cause of great strife in the village of Black Sands. Hinewai’s husband Torangi had caught her with a youth from the village and had knocked out some of the boys teeth, broken his arm and left him unconscious. All the while Hinewai was crying and screaming so much that no one was spared the knowledge of her shame and unfaithfulness.

Torangi took Hinewai back to their home but did not shout at her or touch her in anyway. “Go and wash and we will eat later” he said to her. Despite this Hinewai was furious.

“You are not a man who a woman can look up to” she said.

“When I took you in marriage after your first husband beat you so badly I vowed that I would never punish you in that way.” Torangi answered.

“No you punish me by being old and uninteresting. You are a dull old man. I loathe you” screamed Hinewai.

If fact she screamed so loudly that not many in the village slept much that night with the amount of abuse as Hinewai vented her fury at being caught with a lover.

Hatiti spoke to Ahu the following morning.

“I am ashamed of what happened last night Ahu.”

“I am your sister now Hatiti. You belong to our family now. You feed Aotea for me and we do everything together. You do not have to bear Hinewai’s shame.”

The two women hugged and rubbed noses as Hatiti cried with relief and happiness.


Ahuahu was summoned to attend a meeting of the village council. Among the many things they discussed was Hinewai and the disruption of her behaviour on the village. Ahuahu listened to members of the village council discuss the problem and found it hard to contribute to the discussion. Eventually the village head spoke to him.

“You have not said much Ahuahu. You fish with Kamaka and know the family well. What do you say?”

“Hinewai has been hurt in her life and we should bear that in mind but perhaps we could persuade Torangi to find somewhere else to live. This would be better than to punish him for being persuaded to look after her.”

“Are you saying we should banish them from the village?”

“She is dividing the village; she is making wives and parents unhappy. She is not discreet in her affairs. Her husband loves her and does not beat her, he does not deserve her. It is hard for him but perhaps we should tell him they are no longer of our Pori.” Ahuahu responded.

“You have spoken well, Ahuahu. She is upsetting too many in the village, they should be split from our tribe. Neither Torangi or Hinewai will be punished other than by banishment from the village.”

The discussion continued for some time but they all agreed. The Village head indicated that he would speak to Torangi to advise him of the decision.


Ahuahu returned home sadly. His friend Kamaka had tried so hard to rescue his daughter Hinewai from her first abusive husband, now he would lose her forever.

Ahu and Hatiti were in their house together with the all children when he returned. As he came in Hatiti made to get up to return to her own house.

“Stay, Hatiti. You are part of our family now and need never leave.”

After they had eaten their meal and got all the children asleep, Ahuahu told the two women of the decision of the Village council. Ahu’s face was pale with shock and Hatiti cried openly sobbing with grief for her sister Hinewai.

Later Ahu said to Ahuahu, “You must comb the hair of both of us tonight. Hatiti is feeding our baby Aotea so we must give her something in return.”

“If I do you must not leave me alone with her.” Ahuahu said and Ahu nodded in agreement.


Pori - People

7 comments:

  1. Some people must be banished for the good of all. This is great work once again. I appreciate your input on my continuing tale, too. Thanks!

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  2. I understand banishing Hinewai. She must go. But is seems so harsh to make Torangi go with her. What a mess she has made.

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  3. This isnsomwell written! It pulled me right in and, now, I want more!

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  4. Your story continues to delight and now we have village politics becoming involved in an already complicated situation. Gripping stuff!

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  5. Yes, this piece weighs heavy another slice of the tale..keep writing..and brushing out those tangles..Jae

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  6. Another very good episode, that keeps our interest up, and makes us look forward to more.

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  7. Wow, what a tangled mess. I really feel for Torangi, having to care for someone who was already broken, I can imagine that burden alone. This is a troubling situation, so much shame in what Hinewai has done, especially the weight that she leaves for her father and sister.

    Thanks for keeping me updated.

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