Sunday, 21 October 2012

Hatiti and Horowai talk (No. 69)

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.) 
“Hatiti, may we talk?” Horowai said as she sat next to her mother on the shore having found a spot to rest out of the wind that blew in from the sea.

“Of course, my precious daughter.” Hatiti replied as she touched Horowai’s face with her hand.

“I cannot wait.” Horowai said simply.

“The wedding is soon my precious” Hatiti replied. She knew what Horowai meant; she wanted Tangaroa to possess her now before the marriage. “Even though you are not Ahuahu’s daughter you are still regarded as a puhi and inviolate. You must be perfect and untouched when you marry Tangaroa.”

“Hatiti, Tangaroa and I have been playing together for years he knows me already. Since I could walk it has always been his hand that I held. We know each other. There is no part of me he has not touched.”

“But he has not…?” began Hatiti.

Horowai shook her head, and smiled a tiny smile as she hugged her mother “Not quite.”

Hatiti was silent for while as the sound of the surf on the sloping black sand beach beat its steady rhythm. Hatiti looked at her daughter and felt like crying at how beautiful she was. It seems as though in but a few shorts weeks she had gone from being a child and now she was a woman. A strong brave determined woman that she loved so much that she wanted dearly to say that it did not matter, no one would notice…but on the other hand some might guess; it had to look right. Their plans for the wedding would have to be upgraded.

“Horowai it must be seen that you are a woman of high rank. I will arrange for you to visit your aunt Hinewai and you will stay with her at the village where the Kakas call until the wedding.”

Horowai started to protest and wept with sadness that she would be parted from Tangaroa for a week or two. Hatiti wrapped her arms around Horowai and they rocked each other both hugging and crying at the same time.

“It will be a test for both of us” said Hatiti, “When you are married, you will start a new life away from me. It is a time all mothers dread; to see part of them taken away. But I am so glad it is Tangaroa who will look after you. I have seen how he touches you; just like Ahuahu touches me. The short wait will be worth while my dearest one.”

With tears streaming down her face, Horowai nodded. “I know that it is the right thing to do but I also wanted you to know how much he is to me he has always been there for me and he always will.”

 “I have never doubted that, Horowai. The gods saw our pain and sadness many years ago when your father Kaihutu died and our happiness now is them rewarding us.”

They were still hugging each other quietly when Ahu found them on the beach.


  1. Oh this is a big deal indeed, Horowai’s and Tangaroa’s betrothal! In my catch-up of No 68, Horowai treads bold, but darling that she is, everything is cool. And in this episode, Hatiti’s image control seems wise, but is it? What might befall beautiful Horowai while she is in the village where the Kakas call? Likewise, what might befall Tangaroa? It puts me on that glorious edge like all your other Ahu and Ahuahu episodes, Old Egg : )

  2. Does this site have a page on Facebook?

  3. Wouldn't it be nice if such morals still applied these days. A nice installment that, sadly, seems so old-fashioned - but right.

  4. As Ahuahu is headman and his family highly respected, different standards are applied to his daughters who are expected to be untouched or 'puhi' when married. This was not the case for the rest of the population where trying out for compatibility was common and encouraged. Even Moana who married the then chief's son Paikea was treated this way too as she lived with Ahuahu and Ahu.
    (See chapter 59).

  5. Oops! That should be chapter 55 for Moana's wedding.

  6. This is a big change for all of them. I can understand her impatience, but it's good to wait the few days left. Unless you're planning on blindsiding us with something.

  7. I agree with Altonian. It's such a shame that the custom of keeping themselves pure for their wedding, (both sexes) was special. It is a shame it is now more or less a forgotten custom and being virgins for the one you love doesn't seem to matter anymore. This is a lovely mother, daughter chapter.

  8. This is such a sweet installment. I wish people were more like this now.

  9. What a lovely moment. I like the reference to a mother losing part of herself when her daughter marries, such a bittersweet love. So frequently your pieces end with spiritual hope. I love that Hatiti acknowledges the presence of the gods and the little karmic note at the end.

  10. Would that there could be more waiting for what will come as opposed to having to have it all right now.