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.)
Let me tell you what happened to Moana and Paikea. Moana’s first
child had been born safely and it was a little girl and they called her Hinemoana,
meaning sea maiden. Between you and me Paikea had only thought of boys’ names for the baby
before the birth as he was sure the baby would be a boy. He finally accepted that the name Moana chose was excellent
as it linked both mother and daughter with the sea. Sadly Paikea’s father, the
old head man had died before the baby was born so only his daughters had
produced grandsons for him and they lived far away. Paikea found it hard to
accept that he would probably never be chief like his father. As Moana
was busy being a mother she was no longer involved in village affairs and giving
advice to the village council or helping Paikea not to make foolhardy
and his father’s second wife would spend much time with Moana and the baby and
he felt that he no longer knew what was happening in the village except through
their women’s talk. Moana was settled now as she regularly had Ahu and Hatiti
visit her and she them, but the whole dynamic in the village had shifted and
Paikea’s family were no longer at the centre of things but Ahuahu and his
It was really no
surprise to Moana when Paikea spoke to her one night when the Hinemoana had
been fed and put on her mat.
“Moana, I do not
feel that our future is in this village. I think we should live at Agate hills
with Aperahama and Aio‘s family there or with my other sister who lives close
to the smoky mountains.
“Do you not want
to stay and one day be chosen for the village council, Paikea?”
Paikea shook his
head doubtfully, “When my father was the chief, it seemed as though I would be
headman too one day. But things have changed now. Ahuahu is head man and you
are a mother so they do not call on you for an opinion like they used to. Even
Tui my brother seems closer to Ahuahu than I ever was and speaks to him of
village matters. I have noticed Tui is even looking at Hekehoru, Ahu and
Ahuahu’s elder daughter, but worse still she is looking back.”
They were silent
for while then Moana spoke.
“I do not want to
leave, Paikea. I live closer to my mother here, who lives in the forest to the
west” she said pointing, “and Ahuahu and Ahu showed me how to behave in order
that I could marry you, they are family to me. No, I do not want to leave. I
have been made welcome here, I am respected and have a place in village life,
I am happy and this is my home now.” She paused and then said, “Hekehoru is a beautiful
girl, what is wrong with Tui looking at her. In any case I am sure he looks at
other girls too. You are too jealous of Ahuahu, Paikea. That is no way to be
immediately and hit her with his fist. She didn’t cry out, but just sobbed into
Realising what he
had done he tried to hug her in his arms but he could not say sorry. He tried
to touch her but she became wooden and didn’t react. He tried to pat on the
back but she got up instead.
“Where are you
“To put water on
“You upset me.”
“Go to Agate hills
by yourself. You may need some time away from me,” she said as she found the bowl
of water in the darkness and splashed it on her face.
“Come back here
and lie down and let me hold you.” He said.
“When you come
back from Agate Hills you might be able to touch me again if you have changed
back to the man I loved.”
There was another
long silence then Paikea spoke again.
“Why did my father
choose Ahuahu as head man; and why did he have to die?” He whined. Moana said
nothing as she knew his fists were still clenched. She curled up on the floor
by the side of Hinemoana with a protective arm around her.
Moana never spoke
to Paikea again, she had even not told him she was pregnant again. He had gone
by morning and he never returned to Black Sands. When his mother saw Moana with
a bruise on her face and a split lip, she said nothing but returned home and
cried. She knew that Paikea had shamed the family and the memory of his father.
She wanted to blame Moana but knew that it was not her fault so kept silent.
Moana went away
with Hinemoana too for a little while to the village where the Kakas call. She
told Ahu she was visiting her mother who was not well to help look after her
brothers and Torangi. She did not really need to go as Hinewai could have
managed but everyone thought she went because Hinewai was needed so often at
Black Sands to talk to the pakeha in their language. Even though Hinemoana could toddle around now she still had to carry her.
Later when Moana
returned, Tui, Paikea’s brother came round to see her to ask if she needed any
help. She looked at him closely and noted that he touched her longer in
greeting than he should have done.
“You may come to
see Hinemoana your niece, Tui. But remember once someone has put their hand in
the ants nest they do not do it again.”
“I am ashamed of
what happened, Moana. I am not like Paikea. I want to help you.”
“You do not know
what happened, Tui. I thought you liked Hekehoru; go and help her instead.”
Tui’s face fell.
“Am I that obvious, Moana?”
looks beautiful at your age Tui, especially brothers’ wives with tears in their
“They said you
were wise, Moana.”
She shook her
head, “No Tui, not wise, but wiser now. You may come again but not to look at
me in this way.”
“You won’t tell
Hekehoru, will you?”
“Just go, Tui. I
will tell no one.”
approached Ahuahu and spoke to him in the village. “Paikea has gone to Agate
He looked at her
eyes which were full of sadness. “Come and talk to Ahu, Hatiti and me tonight
Moana.” So she took Hinemoana with her that evening and stayed for a meal and
as they talked both Hatiti and Ahu played with Hinemoana.
“Who will provide
for you Moana while Paikea is away? Tui looks after his mother and aunt doesn’t
he?” asked Ahuahu.
”Tui has enough to
do. Hinemoana and I will manage. Perhaps if I sing on the beach the fish will
jump into my basket.” She said smiling sadly then continued, “Paikea may not be gone long.” She looked down as she said this.
She would not tell
them anymore but later when Ahu held her face in her hands, she understood
everything. “And there is another baby on the way, Moana, isn’t there?”
The tears in
Moana’s eyes told it all. “I wanted to tell you Ahu,” she whispered, “but no
words would come out, it hurts so much.”
As Ahuahu would
pass her whare before returning home from the sea, she always had fresh fish to
eat. She knew who her real family were. Tui meanwhile was now holding hands