Saturday, January 26, 2013

Hoku and Aotea (82)



The continuing story of Ahu and Ahuahu her husband in a Maori village in Aotearoa before European settlement of New Zealand. (Did you miss last weeks episode? Click on Ahu in the labels bar for previous posts or click on 'Rūaimoko asks to meet Ahuahu (No. 81)' in the Blog Archive.

 

Hoku settled down quite well living with Ahu and Hatiti. She was glad that Ahuahu was the headman at Black Sands so that she would knew what was happening in the village from the talk at mealtimes. What she particularly liked was how she and the Ahuahu’s children were free to do there own thing in the village and were not observed and criticised for anything that would appear not fitting for a chief’s child which so different from her life at Rocky Outcrop.

The first time she had been taken up to the Hot Springs to see where Horowai and Tangaroa lived she was horrified at the appalling smell of suphur and the sight of the bubbling pools. Gradually she got used to it and visited Horowai often when Tangaroa was fishing.

However at Ahuahu’s home she was closest in age to Hekehoru and she spent much of her time with her and they both used to see Tui the old chief’s son together much to Tui’s annoyance who wanted Hekehoru all to himself. Hoku had hardly spoken to Aotea who had virtually ignored her. One day when he returned home Hoku was sitting on the porch and he had to walk past her to go inside.

“Is anyone else at home?” he asked.

She shook her head, then said, “Why do you not like me Aotea?”

He paused then sat down beside her, “That is not the case, Hoku. It is just that there has been so much talk of us being the same age and of your own father saying you were of marriageable age, that I did not want to be forced to like you when I don’t know you.”

Hoku pouted and said “I am my father’s favourite daughter. He wants me to marry well. He trusts your father Ahuahu and said if anything happened to him Ahuahu might want his son to marry me. You are only the son by Ahu he has left.”

“No, that is not right, Rauora is his son by Hatiti as well but of course he is younger than either of us. My father has not told me to look after you or take you fishing and neither will he. If you like me you will show it and if I like you, you will know it too.” He paused and looked at Hoku closely. “Hoku you have been brought up differently to my brothers and sisters. My parents do not say ‘let us hope they will like each other’ we are free to make up our own minds. There will be many men that will look on you and want you to be their wife. My parents do not believe in arranged marriages.”

Hoku looked at Aotea again and said “If only my parents would subscribe to that idea.” She paused then looked up at Aotea “Why have you not asked me to go fishing? Tangaroa has. I like Tangaroa, he is strong like his father and Horowai treats me like a sister.”

Aotea then explained to her that Horowai was Hatiti’s first daughter by her first husband. “Ahu and Ahuahu came from Gannet Island but left when Rocky Outcrop kept threatening the village. They came here and as they both worked so hard and were wise in solving problems with our neighbours they are well respected and Ahuahu has been head man for some years now. Tell me about your family, Hoku “

“Our family has always been in the village; being chief has either been passed down from father to son or from brother to brother. The stories that are told are those of our village controlling a large area around us. Only when the pakeha arrived has life been more precarious.”

While Hoku was talking, Aotea placed his hand gently over hers and she appeared not to notice.

“Why do the pakeha leave your village alone, Aotea?” She asked.

“There is nothing here that they want. The fishing is difficult from the lava sands of the beach, there is no safe anchorage for their large boats and  the hot springs are just a novelty for them and there is nothing to be traded. Most importantly my father tries to deal fairly with the pakeha when they visit and they realize this.”

“And why did you place your hand on mine, Aotea. My father would be cross if he knew.”

“It is to show you that we can be friends Hoku and I do not want to fight with you.” Aotea paused then continued, “If I had approached you earlier before you had seen our family living together you would have been offended. I want us to be friends not because others say we should but because we find it easy to smile at one another. We have lived different lives up to now and after you being with us just a little while I now want you to stay longer.”

“Should we walk on the beach together this evening?”

“Yes, but I expect we will have to take Houhia and Rauora with us.”

With that they saw Ahu returning to the whare so Aotea let go of Hoku’s hand but Ahu noticed how close they were sitting together and smiled to herself but said nothing.

7 comments:

  1. I like the end sentence..as many of your endings it leaves me feeling there is a sense of satisfaction and achievement..

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  2. The simple beauty of a relationship beginning, I love the depth you give to all the characters in your story and how well you tie them all together! Your dialog always feels very real, as if we have truly overheard them speaking. Nice to see you back here with another edition. :-)

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  3. thanks for the visit to Old Grizz. I admire this story and the fact that you stay with it. Are you going to publish it as a book?

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  4. I'm with Grizz, Robin. Your story, for all its turns and multiple characters with similar names, is remarkably cohesive and charming. I could see it with simple pen-and-ink artwork... Amy
    http://sharplittlepencil.com/2013/01/27/extra-extra-editorial-comment-by-moi/

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  5. Old Grizz, and Amy are right; and I have said it before, this should be a book. Every time I read one of your episodes I get visions of the settings that could have been painted by Gauguin. He worked in a different part of the world, but the people, and feelings are very similar.

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  6. He handled the nuances of that encounter remarkably well. But then, I've come to expect that kind of maturity and levelheadedness from his family.

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  7. very cool...enjoyed the change up from the story of yours i have been reading....i love human interaction and study it so i really appreciate this and felt like i was right there watching them...the end of this installment is def a cool moment...

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