Friday, 9 November 2012

Horowai and Tangaroa’s first night together (No. 72)

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.)

It seemed as though the whole village of Black Sands had walked up to the hot springs on the day of Tangaroa and Horowai’s wedding. Even Hinewai was there and Horowai hoped she had left her gun behind in a safe place. She was quite relaxed as she always imagined being married to Tangaroa even when she played with the other children chasing about the village and weaving baskets in her fingers out of woven fibre or just sitting in the mud.

She remembered Moana’s wedding and knew hers would be even bigger as her father was the head man. Both Ahu and Hatiti prepared for the event and there was a great cheer from everyone gathered there when she walked up to join Tangaroa who waited before the meeting house at the Hot Springs. When all the greetings and promises had been made and the two of them were really married they all sat around in the large building and many people; it seemed like the whole village came up to greet them and rub noses and wish them a long life and many children.

Much of the time Horowai looked down shyly at all the attention while Tangaroa thanked them for coming; then at the back of the crowd a black frocked pakeha came into the building. Ahuahu beckoned him over and got him to sit by his side.

“I was told you might visit. But today is my son’s wedding so I cannot talk with you at the moment but you are welcome to stay and be a guest.” Ahuahu then beckoned young Aotea to him.

“Take this man and give him food and drink.” Then turning to the priest he said, “Stay the night and we can talk in the morning.” Then as an afterthought “Do you understand me? The holy man that came before could speak our language, can you too?”

The young man smiled, “A little.”

Ahuahu then said to Aotea, “Go get Hinewai, she can help translate.” So Aotea dashed off to speak to Hinewai.

“I would like to bless the young couple.” The priest said slowly as Hinewai came up to them looking warily at the priest. Ahuahu nodded an approval.

“Hinewai, the pakeha holy man will stay tonight, could you help him talk to our guests?”

Hinewai looked doubtfully and said to the priest. “It is not a good day to come priest, but I will accompany you as Ahuahu our headman has requested it. I will obey him so shall I not kill you,” smiling at him.

“I do not think you are serious…is it Hinewai? You are related to the bride?”

“I am her aunt. Come I will take you to them.” With that she walked ahead of him to where Tangaroa and Horowai were seated.

“This man is a pakeha holy man and your father said I should bring him here.”

“God bless you children on your wedding day.” The priest said as Tangaroa and Horowai looked a little startled.

Hinewai turned to him and softened a little. “You want to place your hand on their heads don’t you? This is not usual for strangers. You are young and do not know our ways. I will tell them that your god wishes them a long life together and many children and you will touch them on the head as you say it.”

“Tell them that then, Hinewai, but say it gently and with love.”

Hinewai looked at him closely. “You are different Priest, but I will tell them.” So told them what the priest wanted to do and then nodded back to him when they agreed knowing that Ahuahu had already spoken to him.

“In the name of the father and the son and the holy spirit I bless this union and may you both find Christ in your lives,” he said touching them both on the head.

Hinewai grinned at the couple, and said “Well that should please him.” She stayed with him for most of the evening and when it was time to part checked with Ahuahu where he would stay. When informed that he would stay in Hatiti’s old section of the whare where Hinewai was also staying the priest was appalled. She laughed at him. “Are you frightened of wanting me or of me killing you priest? You do not have to worry on either account I will stay with my father in his whare instead. 

“I am called Father John, Hinewai. How is it I feel you are both tempting and threatening me when I speak with you?”

"Because you pakeha are muddying our waters." she replied.

Later that evening after the celebrations were over, Horowai and Tangaroa were finally alone in their own home. Tangaroa was removing Horowai’s clothes one by one and kissing each part of her as her flesh was exposed. She too was tracing her fingers over his body which was finally hers too. Her body glistened with the oil he had rubbed on her and she sighed with satisfaction that her long wait was over as he gently made them one person.”

He was still asleep when she woke in the night hearing the hiss and bubble of the springs that were so close to them. She felt for him again and he stirred and then finally awoke to find her already astride him. “You have been talking to Hinewai, haven’t you Horowai?”

“Don’t talk so much, Tangaroa.”


  1. I hope her gun is safe..I can't help but fear with the arrival of this missionary..when I read this series I often think what if you were a woman who just didn't ' fit' in this era..not wanting children or marriage..but I think they may be just as you portray..quietly rebellious..self reliant and plucky..adapt and survive..maybe like any other time/ place..nice to have a Friday splash in the wordy mud..what are we to do on Sunday now? Jae

  2. Dodgy situation all round I'd say, this needs keeping an eye on.

  3. Pastor's wife saya BEWARE of missionaries... and their positions, wink. The UCC actually formally apologized to the people of Hawaii for meddling in their affairs and undermining indigenous peoples by siding with the Eurocentric powers that be. It happened/happens everywhere. Thanks, hon. Amy

  4. Of course the priest would have to slip in that part about them accepting Christ.

    I like Hinewai here. She comes across as half joking.

  5. I hope this priest isn't going to turn into a problem that needs eliminating. It would be nice to see a man of God portrayed as doing the right thing.

  6. Well, at least we know what the Priest was really thinking.