The continuing story of Ahu and Ahuahu her husband in a Maori village in Aotearoa before European settlement of New Zealand. (Missed an episode? Click on Ahu in the labels bar for previous posts.)
“I will tell you what happened after we left Black Sands” Torangi told Ahu as he explained how he and Hinewai had parted.
As everyone suspected Hinewai was not happy about her being banished from Black Sands. She and Torangi travelled north past fern gully and lodged for a little while at Gannet Island. Torangi did not think this was far enough to get away from the stories about Hinewai’s behaviour. So despite Hinewai’s protests they travelled even further past Rocky Outcrop to country that neither of them knew.
Hinewai despised Torangi now and blamed him for their being evicted from the village. All he had to do was to turn a blind eye and they could have still be living close to her father Kamaka and of the grave of own her mother who had died so manyyears ago.
“I will not abandon you, Hinewai. You are my wife. I know you have been hurt in the past but I will never hurt you.”
“You are weak and old. Why could you not give me child of my own? The whole of Black Sands was full of little children; Hatiti’s, Ahu’s and even my father has given his second wife Hoata a son. They would not have banished us if we had had a child to look after.”
Torangi tried to put his arms around her but she pushed him away. Torangi shook his head in misery. “I could have tolerated you secretly meeting lovers as I know I am an old man but I cherished you and told you that you were beautiful. But you paraded around with those young men and the entire village knew you had betrayed me.”
They walked on for days until they reached a large bay right at the tip of the mainland where the air was balmy and the breezes light and they could see many islands off shore. “No one will know us here Hinewai. We can start anew if they agree that we can stay.” Hinewai nodded in grudging agreement. So Torangi spoke to the villagers to see if they could stay a few days.
They were assigned a tiny hut that had not been used for some time but a few of the women in the village provided some basic mats and utensils for them to use and sat talking with Hinewai while Torangi went to speak with the village men to see if he could help them fish.
The first night they slept close together and Hinewai criticised him no more and even got up to bid him farewell as he joined one of the local men to go on his boat the next day, and did this for the next few days. But when he returned on the fourth day with fish as usual for their meal she had gone. He stayed a few days longer in the village hoping she would return but he knew that as she had taken everything that belonged to her he would not see her again.
Embarrassed that he would have to leave the village after so short a time he explained his situation to the head man who suggested diplomatically that Hinewai would probably try to find somewhere closer to her own village. Torangi knew this was not the case but left the village and said he would try to find her. He lied of course as Hinewai did not need him to protect her anymore.
Torangi slowly made his way back down south with great sadness. He also knew that Hinewai finally understood that she would never have children after the beating she had from her first husband when she was pregnant and she obviously decided that her life would be best spent as a kairau or loose woman which for a short while might ease her pain but would eventually lead to more sadness and eventually her demise.
He worked is way down through the country again but kept inland avoiding the coast until he eventually found the village where the kakas call. For some reason there was a shortage of men there and they welcomed him with open arms to work in the forest and to trade the cut timber to other villages and to fashion bowls and ornaments to barter. Not far from the village there was a waterfall and a pool at its base where the villagers bathed and eventually one of the empty houses was offered to him as he was a valued worker.
He never heard of Hinewai again but never forgot how beautiful she had been and his longing did not end until Hauku arrived in the village with her children and she agreed to care of him and he of her.
Ahu nodded to Torangi and said to him “Thank you for being so honest with me. May your new life be filled with love.” Then they returned to Hauku and Moana.