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