Sunday, 4 November 2012

Tangaroa and Haeata (No. 71)

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.) 

While Horowai was away staying with Hinewai, Tangaroa had found that without her by his side all the time he was lost. When he went fishing and returned back to shore he felt bad that she was not there to welcome him back and to carry the fish back to the village and to prepare what they would not eat for drying on the racks. However instead of moping on shore he tended to travel further in his canoe and would be happy to follow the coast north towards Gannet Island where he was born. Sometimes he would land at a deserted cove and lie on the sand in the shade and wonder what his married life would be like when they were on their own to heal his loss at being parted from her.

He had been several times to see their whare at the hot springs and got on well with Horowai’s grandparents who were always pleased to see him. He was resting one day on the shore close where the whale was beached many years ago when he heard a shout. He looked up and saw that another canoe was making its way to shore but had got into difficulties and was is danger of being swept onto the rocks.

He got up and ran to the waters edge and pointed to the water that the two people in the boat should head for and slowly they manoeuvred their canoe in that direction while Tangaroa waded in the water then swam up their boat and helped them to shore.

It was then with shock he realised that it was Haeata and her father in the boat but they had not recognised him until he came up alongside and paddled their canoe away from the rocks.

“Tangaroa” shouted Haeata with a grin all over her face. Her father just nodded; as he continued make his way toward shore.

“It is good that I am here otherwise you may have had a long walk home,” Tangaroa said.

Her father grunted and Tangaroa continued “Do you live further up at Gannet Island or as far as Rocky Outcrop?”

With that Haeata jumped out the boat, much to her father’s annoyance as it rocked so much and waded across to Tangaroa and leaned forward and rubbed noses with him. She was very pleased.

“Good you have come to rescue me,” She whispered as her father paddled the canoe to shore. She hesitated, bit her lip then dared to hold Tangaroa’s hand as they waded to shore.

Tangaroa let her hold him as he thought that she was just unsteady in the water but when they got to shore she still did not release him. He looked her and she was smiling at him.  

“I am not letting you go this time Tangaroa.”

He shook his head finally releasing her hand. “I have some water here. Do you want some?” She nodded, so Tangaroa waved to her father and indicated drinking and beckoned him over to the area where he had put his things.

“I want you Tangaroa otherwise they will marry me off to an older man.” She said.

“Haeata, I get married in five days time. I cannot marry you.”

Her face fell, “I remember you saying you were to marry but I did not believe you. Did you not know I liked you?”

“When I saw you, you had just escaped from Big River and your future husband had died fighting the pakeha. You did not truly want me then.” He paused and then said “You are beautiful Haeata and strong, many men will want you. Tell your parents you want a younger man.”

“You do not understand. We are allowed to live at Gannet Island on condition that I marry a widower who wanted a wife to look after him.”

“And your parents agreed to that?”

Haeata nodded sadly. “He is no longer in mourning now and I will have to marry him soon.”

With that her father arrived and Tangaroa welcomed him and gave him the skin of water to drink.

“You are living at Gannet Island then, do you fish with the men from Rocky Outcrop?”

Her father nodded. “We live there now. Haeata will marry soon; we will be truly accepted then.”

“I was born there,” said Tangaroa “Some time ago I went with my father up to Rocky Outcrop to talk with their chief, but we did not see you then.”

“They did not want us, so I told them that Haeata was ready to marry so they agreed we could stay if they could choose a husband for her.” With that he sat down then continued. “The coast is rocky just here so the fishing is difficult; but when Haeata marries I will be able fish around Gannet Island,” her father said.

“There is much to catch at Gannet Island but be careful of the swell at the back of the island; my mother’s parents were drowned there when she was a child.”

Her father nodded and thanked him, “Haeata, I will get the boat ready. Say goodbye we are leaving.” He then strode off back to the beach.

“Do not forget me, Tangaroa. I would willingly be your second wife.” With that she touched him on the arm then placed her hand on his face. “She is very lucky”. She then turned and ran down to join her father at the shore.

“Horowai, I need you badly”, Tangaroa whispered to himself as he too readied himself to return to Black Sands and watched her legs as she clambered into the canoe.


Note: I have also posted this episode to Two Shoes Tuesday as the the prompt there this week is 'Choice' and Tangaroa in this episode is given a final choice just a few days before his wedding to Horowai. 



  1. Oh oh! Do I hear trouble brewing in the wind? A bit of intrigue here!:-)

  2. Oh, love sweet love, and all it's complications.

  3. Another polygamist family coming up? I'm surprised there are so many more females than males that it can be common.

  4. Polygamist families are always headed by men, and the women are sister wives. Why some cultures of women buy into this, when nowadays we have more mouths on earth than we can feed, is beyond me. It's really more about control and dowry than anything.

    But I give Robin leeway, since he is weaving a powerful tale and telling it in a culturally sensitive way! Love you, Eggman! Amy

  5. If he's watching her legs, he's not ready to marry. Unless, of course, he marries them both.

  6. I had not intended to bring Haeata back but another reader wanted me to. Now it looks as though I have made matters worse! She flirted with him but he only wants Horowai. Looking at Haeata's legs as she got back into the canoe was I am sure just to see that she did so safely, just as I would do!!
    Most of my characters are human and flawed in one way or another. That's life. It was not unusual then for men to have more than one wife, when they could afford it, and there was homosexuality, cannibalism, inter village fighting and life was just not fair. Is it ever?

  7. Will you allow trouble to brew? It will be interesting to find out. Looking forward to seeing how this develops.