Saturday, 27 October 2012

Hinewai and Horowai (No. 70)

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.)

Although Horowai had been to the village where the Kakas call before she had never been there alone. Not that she went there by herself but travelled up there with Hinewai after one of Hinewai’s visits to Black Sands that were becoming more frequent now that she had been forgiven for her behaviour many years ago.

She knew that Hinewai had been rescued from her first abusive husband and ran away from her second one only to be reunited with him many years later. However she had not talked to Hinewai as woman to woman. All Hatiti had told her was that Hinewai had been hurt many times in her life and only now was settling down even though she was old enough to be Horowai’s mother. But most interesting of all was that knew the pakeha or white men and had lived with them. She hoped she would find out more about them.

As the two women walked up to the forest Hinewai spoke to Horowai. “So you told your mother too much about Tangaroa and yourself?”

“Not too much, just that I couldn’t wait”

Hinewai laughed. “Do you tell each other everything?”

Horowai looked perplexed. “Nobody has secrets in our family. “

Hinewai laughed outright. “Everyone has secrets, even you.”

Horowai shook her head doubtfully. Did she have secrets? She had hopes and dreams and she wanted Tangaroa so much to part of her but they were not secrets. Suddenly her face coloured up and immediately Hinewai could see that she had thought of something.

“See, you do have a secret, don’t you? But it is OK; I have enough secrets of my own.”

“Are they all about your hurt?”

“Some are yes; some are what I have learned since I left Black Sands. Your father, sorry, I mean Ahuahu; is very wise. When he looks at me I will tell him anything as he can be trusted.”

“I think of Ahuahu as my father too,” replied Horowai. “He loves both Hatiti and Ahu very much. I wouldn’t want Tangaroa to have another wife. I would be too jealous.”

“I loved Ahuahu once; well I wanted him to touch me when I was younger, which is the same thing when you are growing up…to be admired and fondled. But I touched him first and he was very cross, I got beaten by my father Kamaka for doing it. Did not Hatiti tell you?”

Horowai shook her head, “I only know of your first marriage and…” Here Horowai paused and then went on carefully, “You lost your baby as you were hurt and your father brought you back home and you married Kaihutu instead…but then you both went away.”

“We were banished because I was not satisfied with Kaihutu so I tried out all the other boys my own age instead.” Hinewai laughed.

Horowai was silent. But then she looked shyly up at Hinewai, “What was that like?”

“Good…at the time. It made me feel strong after being made weak by my first husband. Listen, can you hear the Kakas calling? We are nearly there.”

Horowai nodded, “We will talk more won’t we?”

“Won’t Hatiti be worried that I will lead you astray?”

“Hatiti loves you; she wants you to come back to Black Sands.”

“I know she does. One day perhaps. Kaihutu feels responsible for me as he married me…but he sleeps with Moana’s mother not me. Even though I am his wife, I am number two now, which is how I like it.”

“Why is that?”

"My time with the Pakeha has upset him more than playing with the young men all those years ago. So now I have a home and I look after Haeata’s children and cook and think a lot without men pestering me."

“What do you think about the Pakeha, Hinewai? They frighten me.”

“I have seen too much. I cry for our people. I have not been a good person but I am a proud Maori and I will always fight for them.”

“How can you do that Hinewai?”

“Before we enter the village, let us sit down.” They sat in the shade of the trees and Hinewai opened her woven bag that contained her personal things. She drew out a little pistol, “Do you know what that is Horowai?”

Horowai looked at the small weapon. “Is it a gun?”

“I stole it from the Pakeha. It is called a Derringer, suitable for a woman and for them to hide in case she needs it to protect herself. There, I have shared a secret with you.”

“You are not going to use it on the pakeha are you?”

“Well I am not going to use it on our own people, am I?”

“Aren’t you risking that I will tell someone?”

“You won’t tell because you want to tell me your secret, don’t you?”

Horowai loved being able to talk to Hinewai this way and now she would now have time to talk to her personally about all manner of things before her wedding that she could not with her mother. She took hold of Hinewai’s hand and put it up to her face and said “I am glad we have time together before the wedding."


  1. Nothing wrong with secrets - they are the only things that are truly yours.

  2. Secrets between women can be dangerous things. Derringer? What year are we in now? Must be after 1852.

  3. I love the bond that continues to grow between these two. All women need a confidante!

  4. I like the synchronicity..that she has a little keep her safe too..jae

  5. Sadly the little early model Derringer cap pistol (c. 1835)is useless. She stole it from a ship's officer on one of her liaisons and she is just showing off. He had it just as a talking point to brag to his fellow officers, not use. She also stole a brass letter opener in the shape of a dagger; now that is much more useful.

  6. Love the give and take of the secrets here... can't wait fot the next installment!

  7. A dagger is a far more personal kind of weapon..maybe it is a secret best kept under her pillow..

  8. Oooh, I sniff trouble ahead, what with Hinewai and Horowai, two audacious femmes, getting in deep with secrets! And *BONUS* you've divulged some choice secrets yourself in your comment above! Very interesting, good to know : )

  9. Hinewai has become an interesting person. I like her a lot better here than when she was young.

  10. It's not always wise to share your secrets. I hope these two know what they're doing.

  11. The thing about secrets is that, for all the ones a woman shares, there are at least that many more that she isn't.